World Bulletin / News Desk
Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II left Cairo Friday for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a five-day visit.
The UAE has sent a plane to carry Tawadros to the Gulf Arab country, where he will hold talks with UAE President Sheikh Khalifa and senior officials.
"It is the first time for an Arab country to send a private plane to carry the pope abroad," a church official told Anadolu Agency earlier.
"This is a sign of appreciation on the part of Sheikh Khalifa to Egypt and its religious leaders and his respect for Pope Tawadros and his international stature," he added.
The visit is the first by Tawadros to the Gulf since he took over the Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church in November 2012.
The UAE ambassador in Cairo met Tawadros two times, the last of which was in March when he visited the pope to offer condolences on the death of his mother.
Pope Tawadros II also called the UAE ambassador in January to inquire after the health of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed following surgery.
There are around half a million Christians in the UAE, according to the country's population census.
All seven churches in the UAE are located in Abu Dhabi.Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Mayıs 2014, 13:55