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Pope Francis hails Muslim ruled UAE as a 'model of co-existence'

In the video, Pope Francis also expressed gratitude to Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar

Thursday January 31, 2019 10:50 PM, ummid.com News Network

Pope Francis visit to UAE

Vatican: In a video message released by the Vatican ahead of his visit to Abu Dhabi next week, Pope Francis extended his warm greetings to the people of the UAE and hailed the Muslim ruled state as a model of co-existence.

Pope Francis began the video, posted in Italian on Thursday, with the Islamic greeting "salam alaikum" (peace be upon you all) before saying he was pleased to be visiting the UAE, a "country which strives to be a model for co-existence and human fraternity, and a meeting point of different civilisations and cultures".

The Pope also thanked Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, for inviting him to "take part in a dialogue of religions", The National reported.

In the video, Pope Francis also expressed gratitude to Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, whom he described as his "brother and dear friend."

Pope Francis and Dr Al Tayeb will meet at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque on Monday, along with members of the Muslim Council of Elders, to take part in inter-faith dialogue, followed by a visit to the Founder's Memorial.

The two will also take part in the Global Conference of Human Fraternity, that will be attended by some of the world’s most prominent religious leaders. The two-day conference, that aims to pave a road to global peace through understanding, begins on Monday.

The Pope's landmark three-day visit - from February 3 to 5 - will culminate in a public Mass for 135,000 people at Zayed Sports City.

"I am glad for the opportunity that God has given me, here in your land, where a new page of historic interfaith relationships will be written, that emphasises we are brothers despite our differences," Pope Francis said in the video.

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