Coptic Orthodox pope visits UAE for first time

Pope Tawadros II will meet with the UAE's president for talks during a five-day trip.

The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II, travelled to the United Arab Emirates`s capital Abu Dhabi on Friday, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

A number of officials greeted the cleric on arrival, including Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, the country’s minister of state, and Egyptian Ambassador Ihab Hamouda.

Tawadros, who travelled on a special presidential plane, will be in the UAE for five days.

It is his first visit to the Gulf state since he became head of the church in November 2012.

On Friday, he visited Sheikh Zayed mosque and tomb in Abu Dhabi. He is scheduled to meet with UAE president, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed, and to lead mass on Saturday in the same city.

According to official sources, Christians make up around 10 percent of the population of the UAE.

The Gulf state has been a key backer of Egypt’s transitional authorities

Source: Ahram