Slum pope/billionaire: Pontiff and USA president to meet

It was known that Trump would also attend a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels on 25 May and the Group of Seven summit in Sicily on 26 May.

Mr Trump said in a White House ceremony with faith leaders that his first trip will start in Saudi Arabia and include meetings with leaders across the Muslim world.

Trump has asked Israel to limit its building of Jewish settlements on land the Palestinians want for a state. Francis brought back a dozen Muslim Syrian refugees with him when he went to Greece previous year, while Trump has tried to impose a travel ban on people from a half-dozen mostly Muslim nations.

"Whether he can or can't" achieve what others could not, "it's our job to try", one official said. Former President Barack Obama visited nine countries by late April 2009, his first three months in office, meeting with allies such as Canada, Britain and Germany.

"Saudi Arabia is the custodian of the two holiest sites in Islam".

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Another 11 women with medication abortions set for next Tuesday could now be in jeopardy of losing that option, she said. Republicans claim the bill will prevent voter fraud, but Democrats says the new law will make it harder to vote.

"That is why I am proud to make a major and historic announcement this morning and share with you that my first foreign trip as president will be to Saudi Arabia, then Israel, then the Vatican in Rome". Both the Vatican and the White House announced the meeting Thursday.

A G7 summit in Sicily will offer Trump the chance to sit down face-to-face with leaders of the world's largest economies. The saga kicked off in February 2013, when Trump, then just a tycoon, criticized Pope Benedict XVI for his decision to step down.

The thrice-married Trump was raised as a Presbyterian and described himself as a "religious person" during his campaign, but often struggled to affirm his Christian credentials as he wooed the Evangelical voters who helped elect him.

"Tolerance is the cornerstone of peace", Trump said during an event in the White House's Rose Garden.

  • Megan Austin