Pope Francis makes history with dialogue in UAE
Pope Francis, the first leader of the world's 1.3 billion Catholics to visit the Arabian Peninsula, was set to attend an interfaith meeting in the UAE Monday (February 4th), AFP reported.
The pope's 48-hour visit to the UAE also will include an open-air mass on Tuesday for 135,000 of the Muslim country's one million Catholic residents.
The pontiff, who made history when he touched down in Abu Dhabi on Sunday night, said he came "as a brother, in order to write a page of dialogue together, and to travel paths of peace together".
Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, grand imam of Cairo's Al-Azhar, greeted the pope with an embrace on Sunday night as the pontiff arrived in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.
The emirate's crown prince was also at the airport to greet the pontiff, who has made strengthening ties between Christianity and Islam a cornerstone of his papacy.
Hours before he flies back to Rome on Tuesday, the pope will lead a mass in a stadium in the capital, which local media say will be the largest public gathering ever in the UAE.
The UAE, which prides itself on its religious tolerance and cultural diversity, has dubbed 2019 its "year of tolerance".