Pope to meet Saudi King Abdullah

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The leader of the Roman Catholic Church is to hold meetings with the head of state of Saudi Arabia.

Tuesday’s meeting between Benedict XVI and King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz will be the first between a Pope and a Saudi ruler.

The King has been on a controversial state visit to the United Kingdom, which ended today.

Human rights groups protested against his presence and a damning report revealed that extremist literature is openly available in many UK mosques.

Fifty people picketed the Saudi Arabian Embassy in London last week in protest at the treatment of gays.

“As well as flogging and executing gay people, the Saudi leaders are guilty of detention without trial, torture and the public beheading women who have sex outside of marriage,” said activist Peter Tatchell.

Earlier this week researchers for the centre-Right think tank Policy Exchange claimed to have found extremist texts that encourage hatred of gays, Christians and Jews in a quarter of the 100 mosques and Islamic institutions they visited.

They included London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park, which is funded by Saudi Arabia.

Many of the publications allegedly called on British Muslims to segregate themselves from non-Muslims and contained repeated calls for gays to be executed and for women to be subjugated.

Most of the material is produced by agencies closely linked to the Saudi regime, according to the investigation.