UN chief meets Pope for the first time

UN chief meets Pope for the first time

UN chief meets Pope for the first time

Updated 30 March 2012, 14:26 AEDT

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has met Pope Benedict for the first time since the South Korean took charge of the UN.

The two men have held closed-door talks to discuss a range of issues including multilateralism and the reinforcing of dialogue between diverse cultures.

A Vatican statement says Mr Ban wanted to meet the pontiff during the course of his first tour of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

It says Mr Ban also expressly invited the Pope to visit the UN headquarters in New York.

Mr Ban arrived in Rome on Tuesday and will later make his first official visit to Switzerland before travelling on to Qatar and Syria.