Biden arrives in Italy ahead of Pope Francis inaugural mass
Sunday, March 17, 2013 - 00:40
March 17 - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrives in Italy ahead of the inaugural mass for Pope Francis set to take place on Tuesday. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: Vice President Joe Biden arrived at Ciampino military airport near Rome on Sunday evening to lead the U.S. delegation to next week's papal inauguration.
Biden, the first Roman Catholic to serve as Vice President of the United States, will attend the inauguration mass for Pope Francis at the Vatican on Tuesday. Hundreds of heads of state are expected to attend as well as some one million people.
President Barack Obama was unable to attend the event as he will be visiting the Middle East.
For security reasons, the president and vice president rarely venture abroad at the same time. But events next week may compel both Barack Obama and Joe Biden to be out of the country on the same day, at least for a matter of hours.
President Obama leaves on Tuesday night on a trip to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan.
What is uncertain is whether Biden will be back in the United States by the time Obama departs on his trip. His official schedule has not been released.
Obama said in a statement the selection of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina to become the next pope spoke to the "strength and vitality of a region that in increasingly shaping our world."
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