Pope Francis and President Obama meet

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has received U.S. President Barack Obama in the Apostolic Palace this Thursday morning. The Pope welcomed his distinguished guest with a smile and “Welcome” to the snaps of photographers from the world press covering the encounter. Barack Obama responded, “Thank you; it is wonderful to be here.”

The U.S. President arrived in the Vatican around 10:15 Rome time, accompanied by a large delegation including Secretary of State John Kerry, who came to Rome last January and met his Vatican counterpart, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. The U.S.’ Ambassador to the Holy See, Kenneth Hackett was also among those present.

Thursday’s is the first meeting between Pope Francis and Obama, who was received in the Vatican by Benedict XVI in 2009.