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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King, Queen receive Pope Francis
Amman, 24 May 2014

Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania, and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Hussein, received Pope Francis at Husseinieh Palace in Amman on Saturday.

The Pontiff arrived in Amman as part of a three-day visit to the Holy Land.

At the meeting with the Pope, His Majesty said the papal visit delivers an important message of tolerance and coexistence between Muslims and Christians.

The King and the Pontiff discussed Jordan-Vatican ties and the need to strengthen dialogue between Muslims and Christians.

In his welcoming speech, the King said that it was a “special honour” for the Kingdom that the Pope's pilgrimage begins in Jordan.

His Majesty said that the first official papal visit to a Muslim country was to Jordan 50 years ago.

"It is a special honour that your pilgrimage to the Holy Land begins here, in Jordan: land of faith, land of fellowship. Here, fifty years ago, my late father His Majesty King Hussein welcomed Pope Paul the Sixth — the first official papal visit to a Muslim country," the King said.

His Majesty said that Muslims and Christians in Jordan are building a shared future "on the common ground of mutual respect, peace and devotion to God".

Pope Francis commended Jordan's "generous welcome" to Syrian refugees, which, he said, commands international appreciation and support.

"I thank the authorities of the Kingdom for all they are doing and I encourage them to persevere in their efforts to seek lasting peace for the entire region," Pope Francis said.