Pope meets new Italian prime minister
ROME (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI has had his first meeting with Italy's new leader on the tarmac of Rome's airport just before taking off for a trip to Africa.
Premier Mario Monti greeted the pope Friday morning as Benedict descended from the helicopter that brought him from the Vatican to Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport. They chatted as they walked slowly across the tarmac to the pope's waiting plane.
Monti later Friday faces the second of two confidence votes for his government in parliament. The Senate on Thursday easily approved his government, formed of bankers, professors and CEOS aimed at saving Italy from its debt crisis.
Benedict then took off for the west African nation of Benin for a three-day visit where he will speak of the role of the church in Africa.
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