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Iranian envoy says Pope welcome to visit

Catholic World News - February 08, 2012

Apparently responding to reports that Pope Benedict XVI will visit the Middle East in September, Iran’s ambassador to the Holy See said that the Pontiff would be welcome in Iran.

Ali Akbar Naseri reminded reporters that Iran’s President Ahmadinejad issued an invitation to the Pontiff in 2010. The Vatican has not given a formal reply to that invitation. “If the Pope decides to come, we will welcome him in an excellent way,” said the Iranian envoy. Vatican officials said that there are no plans for a papal visit to Iran. The Holy Father is expected to travel to Lebanon in September, to release an apostolic exhortation concluding the work of the Synod for the Middle East. However that papal trip has not yet been confirmed.

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