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Pope and the UAE: A history of friendship, collaboration and respect

September 2016: Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, meets Pope Francis during a visit to Vatican City.

June 2016: President Sheikh Khalifa officially invited Pope Francis to visit the UAE. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance, presented the invitation during a visit to the Vatican.

May 2016: A delegation of more than 300 Emirati and Arab sportsmen, led by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister, visited the Vatican during the global Arabian horse flat racing festival in Rome.

May 2016: Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed met Pope Francis in Rome during the world conference on regenerative medicine. Pope Francis praised the UAE and the work of the Sultan bin Khalifa Humanitarian and Scientific Foundation.

January 2016: Dr Hessa Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to Spain and non-resident Ambassador to the Vatican, attended a ceremony called by Pope Francis in the Vatican’s apostolic palace.

October 2008: A UAE delegation met Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican. Abdul Aziz al Ghurair, speaker of the Federal National Council who led the delegation, told the pope the UAE was committed to religious freedom.

March 2004: Sheikh Zayed received a letter from Pope John Paul II. The letter carried the pope’s call for establishing just and comprehensive peace in the world and his appreciation of the UAE for welcoming Christians and setting up churches.

January 2004: A letter was sent by Pope John Paul II to Sheikh Zayed on the occasion of the ordination of Bishop Paul Hinder of St Joseph’s Cathedral in Abu Dhabi.

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(via The National)