November 5, 2020

Incoming Cardinal Kambanda Hosts UAE Envoy Following Historic Pope Visit

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The ambassador of the United Arab Emirates Hazza AlQahtani on Thursday paid a courtesy call on the incoming Antoine Cardinal Kambanda.

The UAE envoy met Kambanda at his office at the Archdiocese of Kigali.

Cardinal Kambanda was named on October 25 and will be installed as Rwanda’s first Cardinal at the Vatican later this month along with 12 others from different countries.

In a statement, Cardinal Kambanda said his meeting with the UAE envoy was to strengthen interreligious dialogue.

“Such dialogue is crucial, as it is what God wants; ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ Luke 10:27,” said the statement.

In February last year, Pope Francis arrived in the United Arab Emirates for the first ever visit by a pontiff to the Arabian peninsula. He was recieved in Abu Dhabi by Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

Pope Francis paid tribute to the UAE as “a land that is trying to be a model of coexistence, of human brotherhood, and a meeting place among diverse civilisations and cultures”.

While in Abu Dhabi, the Pope also held a meeting with Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Cairo’s al-Azhar mosque, which is the highest seat of learning for Sunni Muslims.

The Pope’s visit came amid a growing humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. The UAE is involved in Yemen as part of a Saudi-led coalition, and their bombs have killed and injured countless civilians.

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