Visit of Pope Francis to the UAE is itself a success: Ambassador of Brazil

by Muhammad Aamir

ABU DHABI, 4th February, 2019 (WAM) — The visit of His Holiness Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, to the UAE is itself a success, according to Fernando Luis Lemos Igreja, Brazilian Ambassador to the UAE. He described the visit as “remarkable and historical”.

“The visit of His Holiness to an Arab and Muslim country here in the Gulf demonstrates the commitment of the government of the UAE and of the Pope to establish bridges of interfaith dialogue between two brethren religions, Christianity and Islam, .. it is historical”, he told the Emirates News Agency, WAM, in an interview in Abu Dhabi.

“The main achievement is the fact that His Holiness comes to this region and establishes the interfaith dialogue between the two big religions,” he added.

Stressing the importance of dialogue and interfaith harmony as a way to achieve success, the Ambassador said that the situation in the region is very complex. As a diplomat, he said, he believes that the only way to solve the issues is to “talk and have a dialogue”. That is the basis, he said, noting that “when we sit and discuss, we can achieve through peaceful means the best solution for each part in any kind of situation.”

Asked to comment on the role of the UN, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, OIC and Arab League in bringing peace worldwide, Igreja added: “I think they are achieving the goals, although it is a difficult process”, reiterating the importance of dialogue.

“I think the UN, for instance, has done a very good job since its existence and has kept the world not totally in peace but in many situations, the role of the UN was very important to avoid other kinds of conflicts,” he said.

Speaking about tolerance he said that “This is something very important for us in Brazil, a multicultural and ethnically diverse nation, and we have done a lot in terms of tolerance.” The Year of Tolerance in the UAE, he added, is “remarkable.”

“It talks a lot about this country in a way that you are hosting so many cultures and people are coming from all over the world.”

Describing tolerance as of fundamental importance in bringing peace to the world, Igreja noted that respecting each other’s beliefs is a way forward. “So I think this is one of the most important principles and attitude that we must have” in our lives.

“If we respect the feelings, thoughts and Ideas of others, then naturally we will be tolerant and like to have dialogue. You can not establish dialogue without respect for the others and tolerance in this regard is fundamental to build this feeling of respect for the others,” the Ambassador concluded.


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