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Pope Farewells Iraq

Pope Francis on Monday departed Iraq after a historic and first-ever visit to the country, including the Kurdistan Region.

Pope was accompanied by the president of Iraq at the international airport of Baghdad, from where his plane took off to Rome at 9:54 am local time.

During the landmark apostolic visit, Pope Francis visited Baghdad, Najaf, Ur, Erbil, Mosul, and Qaraqosh. The visit to Najaf was highlighted by his meeting with top Shia cleric Ali al-Sistani.

Later on Sunday, he arrived in Erbil where a large government delegation accompanied Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani and Prime Minister Masrour Barzani to receive the pontiff.

He held a mass at Erbil’s Franso Hariri Stadium with the attendance of scores of foreign diplomats and over 10,000 people.

“I pray that the members of the various religious communities, together with all men and women of goodwill, may work together to forge bonds of fraternity and solidarity in the service of the good and of peace,” Pope Francis said in Erbil.