AP White House Correspondent

ROME (AP) — President Barack Obama is opening a visit to Italy, where he’ll meet with Pope Francis and Italian political leaders.

Obama arrived in Rome Wednesday night following three days of talks on Ukraine with European leaders in the Netherlands and Brussels.

Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said Obama has been inspired by the pope and the way he has motivated people around the world with his messages of inclusion and equality. Rhodes said Obama planned to express his appreciation for the pope’s leadership.

The president will depart Italy on Friday for Saudi Arabia, his final stop on a weeklong overseas trip.

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