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Thu 2 Jun 2016 12:26 PM

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Pope Francis invited to visit the UAE

The move is aimed at promoting cultural tolerance

Pope Francis invited to visit the UAE
Pope Francis. (AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis has reportedly been invited to visit the UAE by President Sheikh Khalifa.

The invitation was delivered by Minister of State for Tolerance, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, who was heading a delegation visiting the Vatican in Rome, reported Wam news agency.

It was made to further promote the culture of dialogue, including tolerance, coexistence and respect for the values of others, said Sheikha Al Qasimi.

She said the UAE government was planning to make the UAE ‘an incubator for peace and the cradle of dialogue, understanding, coexistence and harmony’.

She said visits to the Vatican, such as the one made by Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Dr Ahmed El Tayyeb, in May, helped to encourage interfaith dialogue.

“This is demonstrated by the coexistence of more than 200 nationalities in the UAE in security, peace and prosperity,” she said.

Sheikha Lubna said Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed had played a big role in promoting the culture of dialogue through global initiatives such as the Hedayah Excellence Centre, which is aims to fight violent extremism.

The UAE minister was in Rome to attend a global citizenship programme supported by the Pope. She also organised the UAE's GEMS Education (Global Education Management System), in which more than 200 students from private schools in Dubai participated.