'Honoured' Obama's first ever meeting with Pope

Posted By: Staff
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New York, July 11 (ANI): US President Barack Obama received a "great honor" on Friday when he met with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican for the first time.

"It's a great honor to meet you, thank you so much," Obama said as the men shook hands in a Vatican hallway.

Photographers and reporters swarmed around the pair as they exchanged pleasantries across the Pope's desk.

"I'm sure you're used to having your picture taken, and I'm getting used to it," Politico quoted a grinning Obama, as saying.

"You must be tired," Pope Benedict replied.

Obama responded by saying his recent meetings at the G8 Summit in L'Aquila led to pledges of 20 billion dollars in food aid for developing countries.

"Which I thought was great progress," Obama said as photographers were shooed out.

The two men met face-to-face in private for about 25 minutes.

Before the session got underway, top Obama introduced some of his top aides to the pontiff, including National Security Adviser Jim Jones, Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough, Deputy Chief of Staff Mona Sutphen, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Senior Adviser David Axelrod.

As the Pope met McDonough, Obama put in an extra plug for his adviser: "This is Denis McDonough. His brother is a priest."

American First Lady Michelle Obama, wearing a black veil over her hair, also greeted the pope.

An official disclosed that the Obamas' daughters, Malia and Sasha, also met the religious leader. (ANI)

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