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Pope Francis to visit UAE in February next year

Khaleej Times 2018-12-06 18:06:28

Pope Francis will visit Abu Dhabi in February, the Vatican said on Thursday.

The pontiff was invited by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and the local Catholic church.

Francis will take part in an international "interfaith" meeting during the trip, which will run from February 3 to 5.

We welcome the news of Pope Francis' visit to the United Arab Emirates next February - a visit that will strengthen our ties and understanding of each other, enhance interfaith dialogue and help us to work together to maintain and build peace among the nations of the world.

- HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) December 6, 2018

"We welcome the news of Pope Francis' visit to the United Arab Emirates next February - a visit that will strengthen our ties and understanding of each other, enhance interfaith dialogue and help us to work together to maintain and build peace among the nations of the world," His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, tweeted.

The UAE is delighted to welcome His Holiness Pope Francis on the upcoming visit to the UAE. He is a symbol of peace, tolerance and the promotion of brotherhood. We look forward to a historic visit, through which we will seek dialogue on the peaceful coexistence among peoples. pic.twitter.com/xdsmU18HpO

- ???? ?? ???? (@MohamedBinZayed) December 6, 2018


The Vatican said the theme for the Abu Dhabi trip was summed up in the phrase "make me a channel of your peace" - a quote from Saint Francis of Assisi, the pope's namesake.

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- ???? ?? ???? (@MohamedBinZayed) December 6, 2018


The hope was the visit would "spread in a special way the peace of God within the hearts of all people of good will", it said.

"Pope Francis visiting the Arab world is a perfect example of the culture of encounter," spokesman Greg Burke said.

The UAE prides itself on its religious tolerance and cultural diversity. The UAE trip will come head of a visit in March to Morocco.


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