ABU DHABI, 5th February, 2019 (WAM) -- The Head of the Catholic Church His Holiness Pope Francis, has departed the country following a three-day visit to Abu Dhabi. He was seen off at the Presidential Flight by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and a host of other UAE sheikhs, ministers and dignitaries.
Sheikh Mohamed praised His Holiness Pope Francis for his role in establishing the foundations of world peace, fraternity, tolerance and humanitarian dialogue. He also expressed his thanks and appreciation for his passionate participation in the various events and initiatives as part of the Global Conference of Human Fraternity.
The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince went on to laud the launch of the 'Human Fraternity Declaration' signed by the Pope and His Eminence Dr. Ahmad el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar Al Sharif, which seeks to build bridges of love, amity and coexistence among peoples. Sheikh Mohamed was presented with a copy of the Declaration from the Pope before his departure.
It is customary for the Pontiff to send telegrams to Heads of State of the countries over which the papal plane will be flying over as travels. In a message to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Pope Francis said, "As I depart from the United Arab Emirates, I renew my deep appreciation to Your Highness, the government and the people of the UAE for your warm welcome and generous hospitality. I assure you of my prayers and invoke upon all of you abundant divine blessings."
A number of sheikhs and officials were also at the airport to bid farewell to the Head of the Catholic Church, including: H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region, Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of Federal National Council, H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation,H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, Sheikh Khalifa bin Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Executive Director of the Martyrs Families' Affairs Office of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care & Special Needs.