Britain's Queen Elizabeth II met Pope John Paul II yesterday, after having arrived in Rome on Monday.
    They planned to discuss progress towards Christian unity and the troubles in Northern Ireland during their meeting at the Vatican.
    In a front-page greeting to the Queen, the Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano took note of Christianity's "essential role in the civil and cultural formation of Britain," saying it was thanks to Christianity that Britain was "inextricably intertwined with the history of Europe and much of the world."
    L'Osservatore Romano called it the duty of Christian nations in particular to try to calm the crisis in the Mideast, declaring: "The meeting of the Queen and the Holy Father is sure to bring a tangible contribution to the cause of peace and of cooperation between peoples."
    Today the Queen, accompanied by her husband Prince Phillip, will move to Milan, where they are scheduled to attend a concert at the famous La Scala opera house and view The Last Supper, which has recently been restored.
    The Queen was last in Italy in 1980, when she had her first meeting with the pope. Her other visits were in 1951, when she was still a princess, and in 1961.
    The hot topic for the Italian press was the Queen's distaste for garlic.
18 Oct 00

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