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Catholic World News News Feature

Yemeni leader to meet with Pope November 24, 2004

Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh will visit the Vatican on Friday, November 26, and meet with Pope John Paul II.

The Yemeni leader, who is traveling in Europe this week, sought the opportunity to speak with the Pontiff about the problems in the Middle East, particularly Iraq, accoding to a spokesman for the Yemeni embassay at the Holy See. "Relations between Yemen and the Holy See are excellent," said the Yemeni spokesman. He explained that the president, a Muslim, wishes to reach out across religious lines to work toward peace in the region.

Yemen, with a population of about 14.5 million, is home to only about 3,000 Catholics-- most of them foreign workers and their families.