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Papal visit underway in US

Papal visit underway in US
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Pope Francis has begun his first visit to the United States. The pontiff arrived from Cuba on board an Alitalia airliner at Joint Base Andrews in the US state of Maryland on Tuesday.

To show the importance that the White House gives to the visit, US President Barack Obama took the unusual step of greeting Francis on the tarmac.

Obama, his wife Michelle Obama and their daughters shook the pope’s hand on a red carpet.

The pope and president were scheduled to meet more formally on Wednesday in the White House.

Francis will deliver the first address by any pope to the US Congress on Thursday, and speech to the UN General Assembly in New York on Friday.

A papal mass on Sunday in Philadelphia is expected to attract about one and a half million people.