New pope looking forward to Brazil trip

Vatican City, Mar 20 (EFE).- Pope Francis I is "very excited" about his July visit to Brazil to participate in World Youth Day, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said here Wednesday after a meeting with the new pontiff.

The new pope still had not had time to confirm his visit to Brazil, given that his predecessor - Benedict XVI - had originally been scheduled to make the trip, but he did so during his 30-minute meeting with Rousseff.

The Brazilian president is the second head of state to meet with the pontiff after on Monday Francis received the president of his native Argentina, Cristina Fernandez.

The pope expressed to Rousseff his wish to visit Sao Paulo's Sanctuary of Our Lady of Aparecida, the country's patron saint, after he spends time in Rio de Janeiro for the World Youth Day events.

Rousseff, who emerged from her meeting with the pope smiling broadly, said that Francis is a "very charismatic" person.

Above all, the Brazilian leader emphasized Pope Francis' "great commitment to the poor" and the most needy.

Upon responding to Argentine reporters who asked her about what she thought of a pope from Argentina, Rousseff said: "You are very lucky because he's a great pope, but as our people always say, the pope is Argentine but God is Brazilian."

After her meeting with Pope Francis, Rousseff, who on Tuesday attended the inaugural Mass of his pontificate along with delegations from 130 countries, headed back to the airport to return to her country.