ITALY POPE CZECH REPUBLIC
Alessandra Tarantino  /  AP
Pope Benedict XVI is escorted by Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, right, as he leaves for his pastoral trip to the Czech Republic from Ciampino Military airport, near Rome, on Saturday.
updated 9/26/2009 7:01:19 AM ET 2009-09-26T11:01:19

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has had his first meeting with Pope Benedict XVI since the Italian leader was implicated in a sex scandal that broke last spring.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi says the pope spoke briefly with Berlusconi on Saturday at Rome's Ciampino Airport. Lombardi says the two talked for two or three minutes as aides stood nearby, and he emphasized that "this was not a private meeting."

Berlusconi flew in from the G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh, and he waited at the airport for the pope to arrive for a flight to the Czech Republic.

Lombardi says he assumes the two exchanged pleasantries. Further details of their conversation were unavailable.

Berlusconi has been accused of paying women — allegedly including a prostitute — to attend parties at his residences.

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