President Moshe Katsav was set to meet with Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, a strong supporter of Israel, as his visit to Italy continued Wednesday.
Katsav is on a three-day visit that includes talks with the country's top officials and a meeting Thursday with Pope Benedict XVI, in what would be the first official visit to the Vatican by an Israeli head of state.
Also scheduled Wednesday was a meeting with Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni, who has promoted some Israeli-Palestinian conferences in the capital, and talks to center-left opposition leaders.
While Italy has generally been sympathetic to the Palestinians in recent decades, Berlusconi's conservative government has emerged as one of the most friendly to Israel. The Italian premier has suggested in the past that Israel might become part of the European Union.
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