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Blair hoping to meet Pope Benedict XVI before leaving post

.- Prime Minister Tony Blair wants to have an audience with Pope Benedict XVI before stepping down next month.

Blair’s official spokesperson said he wanted to travel to Rome for talks with Prime Minister Romano Prodi, ahead of an EU summit next month, and, if he did, would seek an audience with the Pope. No date has been set but it is anticipated that it will be held in early June.

According to a spokesperson, Blair is eager to hold talks on interfaith issues with Benedict XVI ahead of a major conference on Islam to be held in Britain.

His first visit with Pope Benedict was in June 2006, during which they discussed terrorism, globalization and poverty.

The visit with the Pope is likely to reignite speculation that Blair intends to convert to Catholicism once he steps down.

However, Blair has not addressed if he will change his views on homosexuality or abortion which differ from the teachings of the Church.

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