Pope Francis meets drowned Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi’s father

Arbil [Iraq]: Pope Francis on Monday wrapped up his historic tour of Iraq. A day before leaving the Middle East country, he met Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi’s father, Abdullah in Arbil.

According to a statement issued by Vatican, the Pope spoke to Abdullah for a long time.

Who is Alan Kurdi?

In 2015, the photograph of the toddler made global headlines after he was found lying dead on a beach. Alan along with his mother and brother drowned in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to reach Europe.

Alan and his family members who belong to Kobane wanted to resettle in Canada due to the civil war in Syria. However, after the tragic incident Abdullah resettled in northern Iraq.

Alan Kurdi

Due to the civil war in Syria, lakhs of people lost their lives. Some of them lost their lives while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.

Biden welcomes Pope’s visit to Iraq

US President Joe Biden on Monday welcomed Pope’s historic visit to Iraq, describing it as a “symbol of hope” for the entire world.

“Pope Francis’ visit was a historic and welcome first for the country. It sent an important message, as Pope Francis said himself, that fraternity is more durable than fratricide, that hope is more powerful than death, that peace more powerful than war’,” President Biden said in a statement.

Pope Francis travelled to Iraq on the first-ever papal trip to the country during which he held a historic face-to-face meeting with powerful Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf, offered prayers in Mosul and met with Christian victims of the Islamic State group.

“To see Pope Francis visit ancient religious sites, including the biblical birthplace of Abraham, spend time with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf, and offer prayers in Mosul – a city that only a few years ago endured the depravity and intolerance of a group like ISIS – is a symbol of hope for the entire world,” Biden said.

He congratulated the Government and people of Iraq for the care and planning that went into organizing this monumental visit, and continue to admire Pope Francis for his commitment to promoting religious tolerance, the common bonds of humanity, and interfaith understanding.

“Iraq is a country steeped in religious and ethnic diversity. It’s also home to one of the oldest and most diverse Christian communities in the world,” Biden said.

With inputs from agencies

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