Pope Francis issues message to people of the UAE ahead of visit

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“I am happy to be able to visit your country, a land that seeks to be a model of coexistence and human brotherhood…”

Ahead of his arrival in the UAE on Sunday February 3, Pope Francis has issued a message to the people of the UAE. The Pope will visit Abu Dhabi for three days next week, in what will be his first visit to the UAE.

In a video posted by The Vatican on YouTube, Pope Francis extends warm greetings to the people of the UAE, saying he is “happy to be able to visit your country, a land that seeks to be a model of coexistence”. In the clip, Pope Francis also describes the UAE as somewhere “where many find a safe place to work and live freely, while respecting diversity’.

While Pope Francis speaks in Italian, the video has been given English subtitles, and you can see the full message here:

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He is also later seen thanking Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, as well as the extended UAE authorities for the “excellent collaboration” and “generous hospitality”.

“Thank you so much and see you soon” Pope Francis warmly finishes the three-minute clip.

Pope Francis will arrive in the UAE on Sunday February 3 for a landmark, three day visit to the UAE. During his visit, an expected 135,000 Catholics are expected to attend the Papal Mass on February 5, which has been declared as a public holiday for those attending, at Zayed Sports City Stadium.

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