(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 10.18.2023).- The King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, was received in audience by Pope Francis on Monday, October 16, at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican City.
His Majesty and His Holiness discussed the close bilateral relations between Bahrain and the Vatican, joint cooperation, and efforts to promote tolerance, coexistence, brotherhood, dialogue, and human fraternity among peoples.
King Hamad emphasized Bahrain’s keen interest in strengthening the historical ties with the Vatican and promoting global peace and stability through the consolidation of love, harmony, and peace.
During the meeting, the King recalled Pope Francis’s visit to Bahrain and his participation in the “East and West for Human Coexistence” dialogue, alongside the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb, and the Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders.
HH Pope Francis expressed gratitude to HM King Hamad for his humanitarian initiatives and for Bahrain’s hosting of global conferences promoting dialogue, mutual respect, tolerance, and religious freedom, as well as his noble efforts for the benefit of all peoples.
HM King Hamad praised His Holiness’s significant contribution to fostering dialogue and understanding among various religions, cultures, and civilizations, promoting human fraternity and tolerance, and fostering coexistence.
HM the King affirmed that Bahrain will remain a hub of coexistence for people of different faiths; promoting respect and freedom of practicing religion.
The kingdom’s mosques, churches, and temples symbolise peace which is celeberated by Bahrainr as a melting pot of cultures, HM the King said.
HM the King said he was pleased that Bahrain had hosted the Islamic-Christian Dialogue Conference in 2002, the Forum for Moderation between Theory and Practice in 2005, and the Forum for Dialogue of Civilizations in 2008.
These events aim to project the region’s image and bring together people of all backgrounds, ensuring their rights to practice their rituals, HM said.
The talks between HM the King and HH the Pope discussed Middle East events. HM the King praised Pope Francis’ support for stability, peace, and protection of civilians, rejecting violence and targeting innocent people, while adhering to international laws and conventions.
HM the King underscored the significance of ensuring regional security and stability to attain the development and prosperity goals of its countries and peoples.