“We look forward to a historic visit, through which we will seek dialogue on the peaceful coexistence among peoples,” said Sheikh Mohamed.
In a landmark moment, Pope Francis is set to visit the Abu Dhabi next February, the Vatican announced on Thursday.
This will be the first visit the pope has made to the UAE, with the trip taking place from February 3 to 5.
The Vatican said the pope had accepted an invitation from His Highness Shaikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputry Supreme Commanader of the UAE Armed Forces and the Catholic community there, according to Gulf News.
Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed took to social media to share his delight at the visit, writing on Twitter that Pope Francis is a symbol of peace, tolerance and the promotion of brotherhood:
The UAE is delighted to welcome His Holiness Pope Francis on the upcoming visit to the UAE. 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. pic.twitter.com/xdsmU18HpO
— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) December 6, 2018
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, also took to Twitter to welcome the news, saying that the visit “will strengthen our ties and understanding of each other”.
We welcome the news of Pope Francis’ visit to the United Arab Emirates next February – a visit that will strengthen our ties and understanding of each other, enhance interfaith dialogue and help us to work together to maintain and build peace among the nations of the world.
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) December 6, 2018