Abu Dhabi: Pope Francies made history by becoming the first pontiff to visit the Arabian Peninsula, when he landed in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, February 3.
The pontiff's visit comes at a time when the UAE is embroiled in a military campaign in Yemen and a diplomatic feud with Qatar. Before he left for the Gulf, the Pope pleaded for the opposing parties in Yemen to come to a truce for the sake of the people.
Upon his arrival in Abu Dhabi, the Pope was greeted by Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and the imam of Cairo's Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, who enveloped him in a warm embrace.
The pontiff will be in the country for 48 hours. On Monday, he is scheduled to participate in an interreligious conference with Sheikh Ahmed and on Tuesday, he will celebrate an open-air mass in a stadium for approximately 135,000 faithful, before flying back to Rome. As per the local media, the mass is expected to be the largest gathering ever in the UAE.
With inputs from agencies
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