Pope Francis arrives in the UAE

His Holiness Pope Francis landed in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, beginning a historic three-day trip as the first pontiff to visit the Arabian Peninsula.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church was received at the Presidential Airport by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and His Eminence Dr. Ahmad Al Tayyeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar Al Sharif.

A packed schedule awaits Pope Francis in the coming days.

On Monday, he will hold talks with Sheikh Mohamed at the Presidential Palace before attending a private meeting with the Muslim Council of Elders as well as an interfaith conference.

Much of the visit will be private, but the public Mass at Zayed Sports City stadium on Tuesday will offer the region’s Catholic community a rare chance to see the leader of their church in person.

We are honoured to welcome our state guests, Pope Francis Head of the Catholic Church & Dr Ahmad Al Tayyeb Grand Imam of Al Azhar Al Sharif. The flourishing of love, tolerance is a tribute to this blessed land and Sheikh Zayed’s vision of the UAE as an oasis of human coexistence. pic.twitter.com/dybsU72pS4

— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) February 3, 2019

Dr. Ahmad Al Tayyeb arrived in the UAE earlier in the day and was also received by Sheikh Mohamed.

His Eminence will attend the Human Fraternity Meeting on Monday with Pope Francis, and also take part in an interfaith conference attracting 700 representatives from around the world.

In a statement, Sheikh Mohamed welcomed the visit of Pope Francis and Dr. Ahmad Al Tayyeb. He said that the visit is especially important in promoting the values of fraternity and peaceful coexistence.

The leadership & nation of the UAE are proud of this historic visit of two greatly respected religious figures. It embodies our belief in the values of love & tolerance as a pathway for humanity towards peace, security, stability & rapprochement between different people & culture pic.twitter.com/9OS4r2ozdJ

— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) February 3, 2019

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