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Pope Francis, Obama find common ground in their first meeting
World politics » President considers pontiff a kindred spirit on the issues of inequality, but the two disagree on abortion and contraception.


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Italy was Obama’s third stop on a weeklong overseas trip that previously took him to the Netherlands and Belgium. After meeting with the pope, the president held talks with Italian political leaders, including the country’s energetic new prime minister, Matteo Renzi.

Obama closed his day in Rome with a private tour of the Coliseum. Touring the ancient amphitheater at dusk, the president declared it "remarkable."

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From Rome, Obama was headed to Saudi Arabia, the final stop on his trip. Saudi Arabia is a key U.S. ally in the Gulf, but has grown angry over the lack of U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war and skeptical of Obama’s diplomatic overtures to Iran. The president also plans to seek Saudi Arabia’s help in keeping afloat U.S. efforts to strike a Middle East peace accord.




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