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Rome Reports

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Spectacular reception to the pope in Abu Dhabi Presidential Palace

Pope Francis received a first class reception during the official welcoming ceremony to United Arab Emirates. 

As Pope Francis traveled to Abu Dhabi Presidential Palace, he was escorted by these royal guards. Furthermore, these planes flew above displaying the colors of the Vatican. 

The pope was also welcomed with this military ceremony after he finally arrived to the palace's entrance.

Pope Francis greeted the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and listened to this band play the Vatican hymn. 

After the presentation of both delegations, the pope and Crown Prince entered the palace for a private meeting.

The Crown Prince presented this gift to the pope. It is the legal agreement that permitted Catholics to construct their first church in the country from June 1963.

Pope Francis also presented this gift to the Crown Prince. It is a medal depicting St. Francis of Assisi meeting the Sultan Al-Kamil in 1219. It was another important inter-religious meeting from the past. 

Afterward, the pope wrote in the country's book of honor. He thanked them for the welcome; and sent his blessing to the whole country to live in peace and solidarity. 

According to Vatican spokesman, Alessandro Gisotti, the pope's schedule has been reduced. This is to avoid distraction from the inter-religious meeting he is attending. It is also to allow the pope enough time to rest. It was only a week ago that Pope Francis was in Panama to celebrate World Youth Day.