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Israeli PM not meeting Pope after all

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An Israeli official says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not meet Pope Francis on a trip to Italy this week, backing off from an earlier announcement that a meeting was planned. The official cited “logistical reasons” for the change. But the Vatican said a meeting had never been planned.

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said on Monday “the Israeli Premier is welcome, but this week the Pope had other commitments.”

Israeli media speculated that bad planning or an overzealous office worker were behind the initial statement.. The Israeli official said Netanyahu’s other scheduled meetings with Italian leaders and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry would take place as planned. — AP


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