Vatican City

Pope to meet Monti and Napolitano on Saturday

Private meeting of outgoing leaders after shock announcement

Pope to meet Monti and Napolitano on Saturday

Vatican City, February 13 - The pope will hold a private audience with Italy's caretaker premier and outgoing president on Saturday, a Vatican spokesperson said on Wednesday. Benedict XVI - who shocked the world with his resignation announcement on Monday - is scheduled for a meeting behind closed doors with Premier Mario Monti and President Giorgio Napolitano at 18:00 local time on February 16, said Father Federico Lombardi, head of the Vatican press office. Monti, who has led a technical government since late 2011, announced his resignation late last year and is campaigning for a popular political mandate in parliamentary elections February 24-25. The Italian head of state, Giorgio Napolitano, will see his seven-year term come to an end in May.

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