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As pope ends trip, Iraq's prime minister calls for national dialogue

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi applauded Pope Francis' visit as a great success and reached out to the Iraqi people and different parties to form a dialogue of understanding and tolerance among them.
Pope Francis climbs the stairs to board his Alitalia Airbus A330 aircraft as he departs from the Iraqi capital's Baghdad International Airport on March 8, 2021. (Photo by Ahmad AL-RUBAYE / AFP) (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images)

BAGHDAD, Iraq — After Pope Francis returned from his first international trip since the coronavirus pandemic began, where he visited different ethnicities and religious groups in Iraq, he tweeted, “Iraq will always remain in my heart.” He asked the Iraqi people “to work together, united for a future of peace and prosperity that leaves no one behind and discriminates against no one.”

US President Joe Biden issued a statement on the pope's visit, saying, “I congratulate the government and people of Iraq for the care and planning that went into organizing this monumental visit, and continue to admire Pope Francis for his commitment to promoting religious tolerance.”

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