South African President Thabo Mbeki has met Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican - the first African leader to visit the new pontiff since his inauguration.
There were no formal speeches during the meeting
There was no word about any reference to South Africa's Aids situation during the 15-minute meeting in the Pope's library, our correspondent says.
Both the Vatican and Mr Mbeki have been criticised by Aids campaigners for their approach to the problem.
The talks took place on the first day of Mr Mbeki's two-day visit to Italy.
Praying for Africa
Thee were no formal speeches during the meeting, but there was an exchange of gifts afterwards and the Pope spoke briefly to Mr Mbeki's wife and members of his entourage, the BBC's David Willey in Rome reports.
The South African foreign ministry said earlier Mr Mbeki would use the meeting to acknowledge the church's work in fighting poverty and assisting development in Africa.
There were no reports that the two leaders discussed the HIV/Aids situation in South Africa.
Both the Vatican and Mr Mbeki have been criticised by Aids activists, the former for its ban on condoms and the latter for his slowness in recognising the importance of the disease, our correspondent says.
South Africa has the highest number of HIV infected people in the world and Aids kills on average between 600 and 1000 South Africans every day, according to the United Nations.
A South African television reporter who accompanied the president to the Vatican asked the Pope: "Holiness can you pray for our continent, we are working so hard!"
The Pope replied: "I shall, and please pray for me!"