8 May, 2009.
Waiting to greet the pope on Arab soil was King Abdullah II, the 43rd descendent of the prophet Mohammed, accompanied by his wife Rania.
After the Vatican City and Jordanian national anthems were played, the king made a plea for a solution to the people of Palestine, and highlighted the fundamental role that religion plays in the course of humanity and in human dignity. Abdullah II
"Today, together, we must renew our commitment to mutual respect. Here and now, we must create a new and global dialogue of understanding and good will
." Benedict XVI
"My visit to Jordan gives me a welcome opportunity to speak of my deep respect for the Muslim community, and to pay tribute to the leadership shown by His Majesty the King in promoting a better understanding of the virtues proclaimed by Islam
The pope thanked the kings for allowing the construction of churches in Jordan. He said it was a gesture of respect for other religions and called for the defense of religious freedoms throughout the world, not just in the Middle East.
Benedict also said he hopes his visit would promote good relations between Christians and Muslims.