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Pope Francis wraps up historic visit to UAE after peninsula's first-ever papal Mass

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By Euronews
Pope Francis wraps up historic visit to UAE after peninsula's first-ever papal Mass
Copyright  REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Pope Francis has wrapped up his historic visit to the Arabian Peninsula today.

He is now on board of ‘Shepherd One’ - the papal plane - and expected to return to Rome this evening.

Earlier this morning, the Head of the Catholic Church led the first-ever papal Mass in the Arabian Peninsula, which was attended by around 135,000 people at Zayed Sports City Stadium.

"It was a very charged and emotional mass, lots of people meditative in prayer, contemplative of an event they probably thought they would never see in this region," Euronews Correspondent Rebecca McLaughlin-Eastham told Good Morning Europe.

In a keynote speech at the Emirates' Founders' Memorial yesterday, Pope Francis urged religious leaders to work together and reject war, mentioning the conflicts in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Libya.

"Together, as brothers in the one human family willed by God, let us commit ourselves against the logic of armed power, against the monetisation of relations, the arming of borders, the raising of walls, the gagging of the poor; let us oppose all this with the sweet power of prayer and daily commitment to dialogue," he said.

He also denounced violence committed in God's name.

The interfaith gathering was attended by Abu Dhabi's crown prince as well as hundreds of imams, muftis, ministers, rabbis, and swamis.

During the visit the Pope has also signed a document on "Human Fraternity for world peace and living together", with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, described by the Vatican as an "important step forward in the dialogue between Christians and Muslims"