Pope Francis to make first trip from Vatican to Iraq in March 2021

WION Web Team
Vatican City Published: Dec 07, 2020, 06:23 PM(IST)

Pope Francis attends the weekly general audience in Aula Paolo VI at the Vatican Photograph:( Reuters )

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As of now, the trip has been planned for March 5-8 but a set plan will soon be released by the officials

Pope Francis is all set to become the first Pope in history to visit Iraq on a four-day trip in March 2021, the Vatican reported on Monday.

The announcement was made by the Spokesman Matteo Bruni who reported the Pope will be visiting the capital Baghdad, as well as Ur, a city linked to the Old Testament figure of Abraham, and Erbil, Mosul and Qaraqosh in the plain of Nineveh.

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As of now, the trip has been planned for March 5-8. However, a set programme has not been laid out yet and will soon be finalised, keeping in mind the ongoing pandemic. "The programme of the journey will be made known in due course, and will take into consideration the evolution of the worldwide health emergency," Bruni said.

This trip has been planned after the Vatican received an invitation from the Iraqi government and the local Catholic Church. The aim of this historic trip, as per sources, is to provide comfort and hope to the Christians who have been stuck and forced to flee from Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries due to the ongoing wars, conflicts and humanitarian crisis.

Iraqi President Barham Salih said in a post on Twitter that the trip "will be a message of peace to Iraqis of all religions & serve to affirm our common values of justice & dignity."

Due to the ongoing pandemic, all trips scheduled for the Pope in 2020 were cancelled, making this the first overseas trip of Pope Francis after November 2019.

Lately, Iraq has been struggling to bring peace into the country borders with the rising tension in the middle-eastern countries and an ongoing conflict between the government and citizens.

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