Obama Looks Forward Meeting with Pope

On the final day of an international summit in L'Aquila U.S. President Barack Obama meets with representatives of African countries.

The president is set to attend a breakfast and discussion with African countries and later a bilateral meeting with South African officials before departing L'Aquila. Later in the day, he will meet with Pope Benedict XVI in Vatican City, Voice of America reports.

White House officials told reporters in the Italian town of L'Aquila that Obama, a committed Christian, was looking forward to the meeting.

"In many ways the visit is not unlike visits with other heads of state," said Denis McDonough, a deputy national security adviser.

"That is to say that there are issues on which they'll agree, issues on which they'll disagree, and issues on which they'll agree to continue to work on going forward," guardian.co.uk reports.

Meanwhile President Barack Obama proclaimed a new day for U.S. policy on climate change early Thursday, declaring, "In the past, the United States has sometimes fallen short of meeting our responsibilities. So let me be clear: Those days are over," The Chicago Tribune reports.

But developing nations must play a role, he added.

"With most of the growth in projected emissions coming from these countries, their active participation is a prerequisite for a solution,” The Toronto Star reports.