The meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will take place on June 10 at the Vatican, according to Spain’s ambassador to the Holy See, Francisco Vazquez.  Speaking to the media, Vazquez said the visit would take place just after the Pope’s apostolic trip to Cyprus June 4-6.

News of the upcoming meeting was made public last Friday by Spain’s Vice President, Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega.  However, it was the Spanish ambassador to the Holy See who confirmed the date of the encounter.

As is custom, in addition to meeting with the Pope, Zapatero will meet with Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.  Zapatero will not be accompanied by his wife or by any Spanish officials. 

“We have spent several months preparing for this meeting,” Vazquez said, adding that Spain and the Vatican have experienced a year of “intense” relations. 

Apart from Zapatero’s visit to the Vatican in June, the Pope will also visit Spain in November, as the country intensifies its preparations for World Youth Day next summer.