Pope Francis visits Erbil to meet KRG leaders

After his visit to Najaf, Pope Francis flew to Mosul as a part of his Iraq visit to meet with top KRG officials.

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After his visit to Najaf, Pope Francis flew to Mosul as a part of his Iraq visit. On Sunday, Francis made his way to Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish Regional Government. As a part of protocol, Francis was welcomed by the President of the KRG, Nechirvan Barzani, and Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, reported the state television. On Saturday, Pope had a meeting with the top religious cleric, Ali Al-Sistani in the southern Najaf city.

After his meeting with the Pope, Nechirvan wrote on Twitter that it was his honor to receive Pope Francis in Erbil and they reiterated the lasting commitment to peace, religious freedom, and fraternity. Post-meeting, Pope went flew to Mosul to pray for the victims of war in the devastated northern Iraqi city that was once captured by Daesh/ISIS.

In addition to these trips, Pope is also scheduled to visit the Christian town of Bakhdida, also known as Qaraqosh, in the northern Nineveh Province. The Pope is set to return to Erbil on Sunday afternoon to hold a mass for nearly 10,000 attendees at the Franso Hariri Stadium. Pope Francis arrived in Baghdad on Friday where he separately met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and President Barham Saleh, as well as other government and religious Iraqi figures.

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