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US President Biden lauds pope’s ‘historic’ visit to Iraq

Published: Updated:

US President Joe Biden Monday lauded the pope’s recent visit to Iraq, saying it sent an “important message.”

“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,’” a statement from Biden read.

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Pope Francis made the first-ever visit by a pope to the crisis-hit country of Iraq, where he visited sites and churches that ISIS and other terrorist groups had decimated.

During his trip, the pope met with Iraq’s top Shia cleric Ali al-Sistani. Biden said the meeting between the two senior religious authorities was a “symbol of hope for the entire world.”

Biden, speaking of the country being home to “one of the oldest and most diverse Christian communities in the world,” also congratulated the Iraqi government for the Pope’s safe visit.

On his return to the Vatican, Francis said he hoped to visit Lebanon next.

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