Romania's President Traian Basescu met Pope Benedict XVI in Vatican on Saturday during his official visit in Italy, September 5-7, 2008. Basescu had a 20 minute private conversation with the Pope in the Gandolfo Castle, in the Pontiff's private library.

Basescu's agenda for the meeting was the situation of Romanians living in Italy and Romania's policy towards Catholic countries, news televisions inform. Basescu did not miss the opportunity to invite the Pope to visit Romania next year.

President Traian Basescu had a phone conversation with the Romanian Orthodox Patriarch, Daniel informing him about his intention to invite Pope Benedict XVI in an official visit to Bucharest, in 2009.

In an official press release, Romania's Orthodox Church representatives underlined that, for a Pope to visit Romania, an official invitation from the Holy Synod should exist, as it was the case when Pope John Paul II visited Romania back in 1999.