Biden lands in Rome for G20 Italy and talks with pope

Biden to meet Pope Francis and Italian PM Mario Draghi in Rome.

US president Joe Biden landed in Rome's Fiumicino airport in the early hours of Friday morning ahead of the G20 Leaders' Summit hosted by Italy this weekend.

The president will join the heads of the world's most powerful nations at a two-day summit in the capital's Nuvola conference centre on 30-31 October.

Before he attends the talks, centred on 'People, Planet, Prosperity', Biden will meet Pope Francis in the Vatican where topics up for discussion are set to include tackling poverty, covid-19 and climate change.

The latter subject is also central to the G20 talks which take place just before the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

Biden, a regular church-going Catholic, is the second Roman Catholic US president after Kennedy. He has met the pontiff on three previous occasions but today's meeting will be his first as president.

The visit comes amid friction between Biden, who supports abortion rights, and American bishops who contend that the president's stance should disqualify him from receiving Communion.

A scheduled live broadcast of Biden and Pope Francis greeting each other and sitting down to begin talks was cancelled last night by the Vatican which said it would provide accredited media with edited footage of the encounter after it happened, AP reports.

Biden will meet with Italian premier Mario Draghi today, in addition to private meetings with other heads of state on the sidelines of the G20, before he travels to Scotland on Sunday night for the COP26 talks.

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Biden lands in Rome for G20 Italy and talks with pope

Viale Asia, 40 /44, 00144 Roma RM, Italy