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Pope Meets Orthodox Patriarch In Istanbul

Benedict in Izmir on November 29 (epa) November 29, 2006 -- Pope Benedict XVI has arrived in Istanbul and is meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew, the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church.

The pope returned from the city of Ephesus, where today he held the first Catholic Mass of his four-day trip to mostly Muslim Turkey.

Tonight's talks with Bartholomew are being seen as a significant step in mending the 1,000-year rift between the eastern Orthodox Church and the western Catholic Church. The Greek Orthodox Church has its seat in Istanbul.

The pope is also using his trip to mend a rift with Islamic leaders, after making controversial remarks earlier this year that appeared to link Islam with violence.

(compiled from agency reports)

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