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Vatican welcomes first-ever ambassador from United Arab Emirates

May 20, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI welcomed the first ambassador from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the Holy See on May 20, saying that the Vatican hopes for religious freedom especially for guest workers there.

The Holy Father told the ambassador, Hissa Abdulla Ahmed al-Otaiba, that the UAE deserves credit for receiving "many hundreds of thousands of foreigners coming to seek work and a more secure financial future for themselves and for their families." The presence of those foreign workers, he said, calls for special efforts by the government to "strengthen the conditions necessary for peaceful coexistence."

The Pope saluted the UAE for allowing the construction of several Catholic churches to serve the foreign workers, and said that Church would continue to work with public officials there to promote their social welfare.


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