Bethlehem Mayor: Pope to Visit in May

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) - The mayor of Bethlehem says Pope
Benedict will visit the Holy Land in May.

Bethlehem mayor Victor Batarseh says senior Vatican official Paolo Corvini of the Protocol Office of the Holy See informed him the pontiff will visit his town, the traditional birthplace of Jesus.

Batarseh said the Pope intends to make a four-day visit, touring Jordan, and then crossing to Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth.

Israeli officials aren't commenting, pending an official announcement from the Vatican.

A Vatican delegation met with Israel's President Shimon Peres last week to discuss a possible visit. That meeting followed an official invitation by Peres.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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