The following statement was issued on February 25, 2019, by the Director “Ad Interim” of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti.
The Holy Father Francis received privately at Saint Martha’s House at 12:30 pm today, the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheik Abdallah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He engaged in a conversation with him that lasted 45 minutes.
Minister Ben Zayed wished to communicate to the Pope the decisions that the government of the United Arab Emirates has taken, to promote the implementation of the intents of the Document on “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Common Coexistence,” signed by the Holy Father and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahamad al-Tayyib (Abu Dhabi, February 4, 2019) some already implemented and others in the process of being carried out.
The Delegation gave the Holy Father a casket containing some stones with inscriptions in the Arabic language, which express messages connected to love, tolerance and fraternity.
The Pope donated a copy of an engraving going back to the 17th century, which shows the works of the construction of Saint Peter’s Square and four large photographic albums for the President and the Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates, containing a selection of the best images of the Pontiff’s visit to the country.
At the end of the meeting, the Holy Father lunched with the Minister and the Delegation of the United Arab Emirates.[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]