Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 September 2019

Pope Francis hails UAE's tolerant vision during Vatican meeting

The Pope praised the nation's values during an audience with Sara Almahri, acting charge d'affaires of the UAE Embassy in Madrid.

The Pope enjoyed an historic three-day tour of the UAE in February and is full of praise for the country three months on. Getty
The Pope enjoyed an historic three-day tour of the UAE in February and is full of praise for the country three months on. Getty

Pope Francis has hailed the UAE's virtues of tolerance and co-existence - and said he has seen the inspiring results for himself.

The leader of the Catholic Church, who completed a landmark three-day visit to the UAE in February, offered warm praise for the nation's harmonious vision during an audience with Sara Almahri, acting charge d'affaires of the UAE Embassy in Madrid.

Pope Francis said during his address that tolerance and the UAE are "two sides of the same coin".

Ms Almahri said her visit to the Vatican was aimed at deepening mutual respect, boosting interfaith dialogue and spreading peace, security and fraternity among people of all backgrounds and beliefs.

She reaffirmed the UAE's commitment to strengthening its ties with the Vatican City, in order to promote mutual values.

Ms Almahri said the historic papal visit to the UAE had helped deliver a vital message of hope across the globe.

During the meeting, Vatican officials praised the UAE for its tolerant and open policy, adding that the country's principles should be emulated in the region.

The Pope toured the UAE alongside the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb, with the two religious leaders taking part in a series of discussions aimed at forging friendships between all faiths.

The two men launched the document of Human Fraternity during their visit, a comprehensive charter promoting the principles of peace, equality and justice for all.

Pope Francis concluded the first ever tour of the Gulf region by a sitting pontiff by presiding over an open-air mass attended by 150,000 fervent followers at Zayed Sports City Stadium.

On his flight back to Rome after concluding his momentous tour, Pope Francis said the UAE was a diverse and forward-looking country.

β€œIt’s modern and welcoming of so many people,” said Pope Francis, before calling on people to "pray that the seeds sown may bring forth fruits of peace"

Updated: May 18, 2019 01:05 PM

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