Tickets now available online for historic Pope Francis’ mass in the UAE

Pope Francis is set to visit the UAE on Feb. 3 to 5. (File/AFP)
Updated 11 January 2019

Tickets now available online for historic Pope Francis’ mass in the UAE

  • The mass will take place at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi
  • Residents can register through the official website of the Papal visit

DUBAI: Attendees to the papal mass in Abu Dhabi on Feb. 5 can now register online, a Catholic church body in the region has announced.

Residents from the UAE, Oman and Yemen who would like to attend the mass can register through the official website of the Papal visit, according to the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia (AVOSA), a Catholic church jurisdiction covering the three Gulf nations.

The mass will take place at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi on the last day of Pope Francis’ UAE trip. The stadium has a capacity of over 40,000 people.

A few reserved seats will also be allocated for residents from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain. A “very limited” number of tickets will be issued to non-GCC residents on a first-come, first-served basis.

“As this is a visit to the AVOSA, tickets are reserved primarily for the local faithful. However, we understand that this is a rare opportunity for people living nearby to see the pope,” AVOSA said on its website.

“Details on distribution policies are being worked out. We will have more information regarding this on our website very soon,” the statement added.

The February visit will be Pope Francis’ seventh trip to a predominantly Muslim nation, including Palestine, Jordan and Egypt, with the 82-year old pontiff employing those visits to call for inter-religious peace.

Crown Prince Mohammed had said in a tweet that the pope “is a symbol of peace, tolerance and the promotion of brotherhood. We look forward to a historic visit, through which we will seek dialogue on the peaceful coexistence among peoples.”


Eastern Libya forces say 16 Turkish soldiers killed in fighting

Updated 23 February 2020

Eastern Libya forces say 16 Turkish soldiers killed in fighting

BENGHAZI: Forces loyal to Libyan eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar said on Sunday they had killed 16 Turkish soldiers in recent weeks, a day after Turkey acknowledged it had lost several "martyrs" in combat in the north African country.
Khalid al-Mahjoub, a spokesman for Haftar's Libya National Army (LNA), said the Turks were killed in the port city of Misrata, in battles in Tripoli and in the town of al-Falah south of the capital.
Turkey backs Libya's weak internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and has sent Syrian soldiers along with some of its own soldiers and weapons.
Haftar's forces are backed by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday acknowleged some Turkish losses in Libya's "struggle".
"We are there (in Libya) with our (Turkish) soldiers and our teams from the Syrian National Army. We continue the struggle there. We have several martyrs. In return, however, we neutralized nearly a hundred (of Haftar's) legionaries," Erdogan said.
The Syrian National Army, also known as Free Syrian Army, is a Turkey-backed Syrian rebel group fighting against pro-Damascus forces in northern Syria, where 16 Turkish soldiers have been killed so far this month.
The deployment of Turkish soldiers and sophisticated air defences has erased small gains made by the LNA with the help of Russian mercenaries, returning the frontline roughly to where it was at start of Haftar's campaign in April 2019.
Ceasefire talks between Libya's warring sides resumed on Thursday after the GNA had pulled out of negotiations following the shelling of Tripoli's port by Haftar's forces.