Pope visit to spread spirit of brotherhood: Iraqi PM

Pope visit to spread spirit of brotherhood: Iraqi PM

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said the upcoming visit to the Arab country by Pope Francis will spread the spirit of brotherhood in Iraq and the region.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said the upcoming visit to the Arab country by Pope Francis will spread the spirit of brotherhood in Iraq and the region.

Al-Kadhimi met the Vatican's ambassador in Iraq Mitja Leskovar on Sunday to discuss the Pope’s planned visit.

The trip, planned for March 5-8, will be Pope Francis' first foreign trip since being grounded for 16 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 84-year-old pontiff, who has been vaccinated against COVID-19, apparently intends to go ahead with the trip despite the pandemic and lingering security concerns.

In a statement released after Sunday's meeting, al-Kadhimi said the Pope's visit would “consolidate stability” and “spread the spirit” of brotherhood in Iraq and throughout the region.

Leskovar, for his part, expressed his “appreciation and gratitude” to the Iraqi government for facilitating the visit, the statement said.

Earlier, Iraq’s ambassador to the Vatican said a document on human fraternity will be signed during Pope’s visit to the Arab country.

Rahman Al-Ameri said the trip will be a message of peace and interfaith dialogue to all of the world.

He noted that the head of the Catholic Church will meet with senior Shia cleric grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to discuss issues like fighting extremism, rejection of violence and terrorism, and promotion of peace.

The two leaders will also sign a document on human fraternity aimed at promoting mutual trust among followers of all faiths, al-Ameri added.

The document calls for commitment to values like peace, fraternity, peaceful coexistence, justice and benevolence, he went on to say.

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