Monday, February 4, 2019

Francis Is First Pope to Visit Arabian Peninsula; Criticizes His UAE Host for Its Yemen War Role

Pope Francis yesterday became the first pontiff to set foot on the Arabian peninsula, just hours after issuing his strongest condemnation yet of the war in Yemen, where his host the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a leading military role, the Reuters website reports today (February 4, 2019).

Shortly before departing for Abu Dhabi on his three-day trip, Pope Francis said he was following the humanitarian crisis in Yemen with great concern, and urged all sides to implement a peace deal and help deliver aid to millions of hungry people.

"The cry of these children who are hungry, who are thirsty, they don't have medicine, and they are in danger of death," he said before boarding his flight.

The pope will meet Muslim leaders and celebrate an outdoor mass for some 135,000 Catholics -- an event with no precedent on the Arabian peninsula.

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