Saudi king meets pope at the Vatican
Nov 06,2007 00:00 by UPI

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI became the first Roman Catholic leader Tuesday to host talks with a Saudi monarch, as King Abdullah and he discussed interreligious dialogue.

Abdullah arrived in Rome Monday night and hinted as to the talks' purpose at a dinner hosted by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, the Saudi newspaper Okaz reported.

"All religions encourage people to love the next person," Abdullah said. "If everyone followed the principles of their religions, and that which Allah ordered, the world would be free of clashes."

Vatican sources said the pope was expected to bring up the Arabic ban on public Christian worship as well as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, A BBC correspondent reported.

Benedict infuriated Muslims in a September 2006 speech at Regensburg University in Germany when he associated Islam with violence but he later apologized and launched a campaign of improving interreligious dialogue.

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