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Benedict XVI welcomed first United Arab Emirates ambassador to the Vatican

2010-05-20

During the meeting, Ms. Al-Otaiba, who is also the ambassador to Spain, presented her credentials to the pope. The meeting comes, three years after the Vatican established diplomatic relations with the mostly Muslim state.

But the pope commended the state for its openness towards immigrant workers, many of whom are Catholic. He also recalled how several Catholic Churches are built on land donated by the civil authorities.  

The pope said the freedom to worship helps build a peaceful society.

In the exchanging of the gifts, the ambassador  gave the pope a painting that illustrated her nation and the pope gave her a commemorative medallion of his pontificate.

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