Olmert to meet pope during upcoming trip to Europe

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will meet with Pope Benedict XVI during a trip to Europe next week, officials said Thursday. Olmert's spokeswoman, Miri Eisin, said the meeting will take place at the Vatican next Wednesday. There were no immediate details on the agenda of the talks. While such meetings are rare, it is not the first time an Israeli leader will meet with the leader of the world's Roman Catholics. Israel and the Vatican established diplomatic relations in the 1990s, and the late Pope John Paul II hosted Israeli prime ministers and other officials as part of his effort to build ties with the Jewish state.