Slum pope/billionaire: Francis to meet with President Trump

Then he'll move on for visits to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and a summit in Italy.

In Saudi Arabia, a White House official said Trump would meet with Saudi and other Arab leaders. He says they will seek new cooperation to "combat extremism, terrorism and violence" and promote a more hopeful future for young Muslims.

Trump has asked Israel to limit its building of Jewish settlements on land the Palestinians want for a state. Former President Barack Obama visited nine countries by late April 2009, his first three months in office, meeting with allies such as Canada, Britain and Germany.

The Vatican and the White House have often had different views over the years. He will visit Jerusalem, Israel, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, according to a senior administration official.

In Israel, local media said that Trump wants to deliver his main speech at the ancient desert fortress of Masada.

In Rome, the meeting with Francis on May 24 follows barbs traded between the pontiff and Trump during the presidential campaign. They point to frequent visits from foreign leaders - including the most recent visit of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas - as proof that Trump has influence on foreign affairs from the White House.

A G7 summit in Sicily will offer Trump the chance to sit down face-to-face with leaders of the world's largest economies. Trump responded that it was "disgraceful" for a religious person to question someone's faith. Trump, who campaigned on plans to build a wall on the USA border with Mexico, shot back, saying it was "disgraceful" for a religious leader to question someone's faith.

Mr Trump, who met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in February, has assigned his son-in-law Jared Kushner to oversee efforts to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

  • Leroy Wright