Pope Francis arrives in Mozambique on Wednesday at the start of a three-nation tour of Indian Ocean African countries hard hit by poverty, conflict and natural disaster.
Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Dr Ahmed El Tayyeb, signed the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together in Abu Dhabi in February 2019.
"I have to apologise for being late," the smiling 82-year old pontiff told crowds of faithful patiently waiting for him to appear at his study window overlooking Saint Peter's Square.
Tens of thousands of people gathered to see the pontiff on his lightning visit at the end of a three-country tour of Africa. He was due to spend about eight hours on the Indian Ocean island.
Thousands of residents, some wearing colourful skirts printed with the pope's image and the words "hope, peace, reconciliation," lined the streets of the capital, Maputo to cheer Francis' motorcade as he headed to the presidential palace to meet with President Felipe Nyusi.
Pope Francis, ending his visit to Mozambique, on Friday scolded political and business leaders in the resource-rich but poor East African country who allow themselves to be corrupted by outsiders.
Six states in Brazil's Amazon have requested military help to combat record fires that are tearing through the rainforest, provoking an international outcry because of the Amazon's central role in combating global warming.
Pope Francis is set to arrive in Baghdad today on the first ever visit of a Catholic pontiff to Iraq although its Christian communities are among the world’s most ancient.
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, 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