21 May 2010

Tonga's prime minister meets Pope Benedict

8:10 am on 21 May 2010

The Tongan prime minister Dr Feleti Sevele has met Pope Benedict at the Vatican.

Vatican officials say Dr Sevele and the Pope spoke for fifteen minutes in the Pope's private library, in what was described as a cordial atmosphere.

In a statement, the Vatican said the Pope discussed the process of institutional reform in Tonga, and aspects of social and economic life of the archipelago.

Officials said the Vatican mentioned the significant contribution of the Catholic Church in the various fields of human development.

There are thought to be around 15-thousand Roman Catholics in Tonga.