Yeltsin to meet the Pope

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Yeltsin to meet the Pope

President Boris Yeltsin will meet the Pope in Italy next month in what appears part of a broader effort to improve relations between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church. The Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches said they would resume talks broken off in summer and try again to arrange the first meeting of the pope and the Russian patriarch.

Mr Yeltsin is on vacation in north-west Russia after falling ill last month with a cold. During his visit to Italy he will also hold talks with the Italian President, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, and Prime Minister, Romano Prodi.

- AP, Moscow