President Obama to Visit Pope Francis in March

President Barack Obama is to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican on March 27th, the White House has announced.

The Vatican has also confirmed the meeting. 

The private audience will take place at the end of a European trip to the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy. 

"The President looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality," the White House said in a statement. 

While in Rome, he will also meet with Italy's President Napolitano and Prime Minister Letta. 

President Obama last visited the apostolic palace in July 2009 when he had a private audience with Pope Benedict XVI. 

The news comes as the British press reports that Queen Elizabeth II will also be visiting Pope Francis this year. She was expected to visit Rome last March but had to cancel due to illness.

Buckingham Palace would not confirm the visit when contacted Jan. 20th, saying her travel schedule hadn't yet been finalised.