Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi walks with Pope Francis upon his arrival at Baghdad International Airport on Friday. Reuters
Gulf Today Report
Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar and Chairman of the Council of Muslim Elders, praised the visit of Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, to Iraq describing it as "historic and courageous."
In a tweet, Dr Ahmed said, "The historic and courageous visit of my brother Pope Francis to Iraq carries a message of peace, solidarity and support for all the Iraqi people. I pray for his success that this trip will achieve the hoped-for fruits on the path of human brotherhood."
Pope Francis has arrived in Iraq on a visit to rally the country’s dwindling Christian community after decades of war.
The pontiff’s landmark visit has been months in the making and is the first papal visit to Iraq, one that eluded his predecessors. He brings a message of peace and coexistence to comfort the country’s deep-rooted Christian minority, many of whom fled the country in the successive conflicts that followed the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.
The Alitalia flight, with both Vatican and Iraqi flags, carrying the Pope and his delegation landed just before 2pm (1100GMT). A red carpet was rolled out on the tarmac in Baghdad’s international airport.
Hundreds of people gathered along the airport road with hopes of catching a glimpse of the Pope’s convoy.
Pope Francis also urged Iraqi officials to "combat the scourge of corruption, misuse of power and disregard for law," in a country consistently ranked one of the most graft-tainted by Transparency International.
Pope Francis, the pioneering head of over a billion Roman Catholics, always takes the road less travelled. He is indeed a unique face of the papacy. On Friday, he started his visit to Iraq, his first sojourn abroad since the coronavirus pandemic broke
Babylon has belatedly been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the international cultural organisation, 36 years after Baghdad applied for the designation. Successive Iraqi governments have pressed for recognition and, for the past 12 years,
The deal arrives just in time for a summit of world leaders hosted by the U.S. government on Thursday and Friday, where the EU and other global powers will promote their pledges to protect the planet.
Biden has invited 40 world leaders including Xi and Russia's Vladimir Putin to the meet starting on Earth Day, meant to mark Washington's return to the front lines of the fight against climate change after former president Donald Trump disengaged from the process.
As aviation industry players have become more optimistic on the resumption of international flights worldwide, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with a leading European diagnostic service provider, for more ease to passengers required to secure negative Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) test results.
Sheikh Abdullah affirmed the depth and strength of relations between the UAE and Pakistan, which, he said, are longstanding and based on mutual trust and respect. He stressed the two nations’ determination to grow cooperation across all fields for the common good of both nations’ peoples.