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Iraq declares 6 March "National Day of Tolerance and Coexistence"

In a tweet on Saturday, Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi announces that 6 March will become a "National Day of Tolerance and Coexistence" in Iraq. The announcement came after Pope Francis' meeting with Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, which Cardinal Miguel Ayuso has praised as an historic encounter.

By Vatican News staff writer

The announcement by Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi came following the historic encounter in Najaf between Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani and Pope Francis on Saturday morning and the interreligious meeting in the ancient city of Ur later in the day. 

Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot has been present with Pope Francis for all the events of his Apostolic Journey to Iraq.

The president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has expressed his joy over the events so far, especially in accompanying Pope Francis for his courtesy visit to the Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani on Saturday. 

In a brief interview with Vatican News, the Cardinal said Pope Francis was able “to discover the great hospitality” offered by Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Al-Husayni Al-Sistani during the historic visit to his private home on Saturday.

During the encounter, they were able to share perspectives and draw attention to the importance of friendship, mutual respect and dialogue, so that all people, no matter their ethnic, cultural or religious tradition, may live together in brotherhood and peace. 

06 March 2021, 15:20