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President of Nigeria says Pope Francis will visit Africa's most populous nation; no date

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    Pope Francis and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan smile during a private audience at the Vatican, Saturday, March 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Tony Gentile, Pool)The Associated Press

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    Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, left, and his wife Patience, during a private audience at the Vatican, Saturday, March 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Tony Gentile, Pool)The Associated Press

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    Pope Francis leaves at the end of a private audience with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, left, and his wife Patience, at the Vatican, Saturday, March 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Tony Gentile, Pool)The Associated Press

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    Pope Francis talks to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan during a private audience at the Vatican, Saturday, March 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Tony Gentile, Pool)The Associated Press

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    Pope Francis is greeted by a member of the Nigerian delegation during a private audience with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, left, at the Vatican, Saturday, March 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Tony Gentile, Pool)The Associated Press

Nigeria's president says Pope Francis is promising to visit Africa's most populous nation.

A statement from Goodluck Jonathan's office doesn't give any timing for the visit proposed when Jonathan met the Roman Catholic leader at the Vatican on Saturday.

It says they discussed poverty alleviation and inter-faith dialogue.

Nigeria's population is divided almost equally between Muslims and Christians who periodically clash in deadly confrontations. Catholics make up about a quarter of Christians, an estimated 21 million Nigerians. Many Christians belong to evangelical churches that have been winning converts from traditional churches.

Pope Francis has committed to travel to the Holy Land and South Korea in 2014 and said he wants to visit the Philippines and Sri Lanka in coming years. His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, visited Africa twice.