Historic Saudi Visit to Vatican

November 6, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: BBC News


King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has met Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican - the first audience by the head of the Roman Catholic Church with a Saudi monarch.

The Vatican described the private meeting as "warm" and said the two men discussed the presence and hard work of Christians in Saudi Arabia.

An estimated 1.5m Christians live in Saudi Arabia but are not allowed to worship publicly.

The Vatican said Abdullah requested the audience as part of a European tour.

The two sides have no diplomatic ties, although when Abdullah was crown prince he met the late Pope John Paul II.