Pope to Visit UAE in February
Pope Francis will visit Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in February, the Vatican said Thursday.
The pontiff was invited to the UAE by both Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and the local Catholic church, it said.
Francis will take part in an international "interfaith" meeting during the trip, which will run from February 3 to 5.
In a comment on the announcement, Greg Burke, Director of the press office of the Holy See, said, "The theme of the visit is 'Make Me a Channel of Your Peace' – and that’s the Pope’s intention in going to the United Arab Emirates. How all people of goodwill can work for peace will be a major topic on this trip."
"The UAE is delighted to welcome His Holiness Pope Francis on the upcoming visit to the UAE," tweeted Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince.
"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," he said.
In a statement welcoming the historic visit, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, stressed its importance and expressed the appreciation of the UAE government and people, saying that it would build stronger ties of friendship and cooperation between the UAE and the Vatican.