His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has welcomed the visit to the United Arab Emirates by Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, beginning tomorrow.
“We welcome Pope Francis to the UAE. This historic visit will deepen the values of tolerance, understanding and interfaith dialogue. We are bound by our humanity, our common values and belief in the future of humankind. Welcome to the UAE in this, our year of tolerance,” H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said in an official tweet marking the occasion.
“Over five decades since its establishment, the UAE has been promoting the values of love, security, acceptance, freedom of religion and respect of others,” he added.
“The UAE welcomes Pope Francis at a time when the entire world needs to be bound together by common humanitarian values, strengthen bonds of fraternity and friendship, and highlight commonalities and reject sows of sedition, hatred, grudges and ethnic and religious discrimination. We need to collectively work for noble goals and wholeheartedly endeavour to ultimately ensure peace and stability for humanity at large,” Sheikh Mohammed noted.
Sheikh Mohammed extended his thanks to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for inviting Pope Francis to the UAE to participate in the Global Conference of Human Fraternity in the presence of prominent thought leaders and scholars from around the world.
“The Global Conference of Human Fraternity reflects the status of the United Arab Emirates as a global capital for coexistence, fraternity and interfaith dialogue. A long-standing prestigious status, the solid basis of which had been laid down by Founding Father late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and which has been maintained by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.”
The Vice President stressed that the UAE now plays host to people from around the globe representing various nationalities and beliefs and are all living in harmony and peaceful co-existence “We hereby welcome Grand Imam of Al Azhar Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb who will join hands with Pope Francis in Abu Dhabi to deepen human bonds and values,” Sheikh Mohammed added, noting the importance of the significant role played by scholars in promoting values of peace and love around the world.