Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq: Day One
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Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi walks with Pope Francis upon his arrival at Baghdad International Airport, in Baghdad, Iraq March 5, 2021. (Vatican Media/Reuters)
Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq: Day One
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Pope Francis and the Iraqi prime minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi are greeted by traditional dancing shortly after the pontiff's arrival in Iraq. (@IraqiPMO)
Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq: Day One
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Pope Francis greeted by Iraq prime minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi are greeted by traditional dancing shortly after the pontiff's arrival in Iraq. (@IraqiPMO)
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A handout picture released by the Vatican media shows Pope Francis greeting clergymen in front of the Syro-Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation (Sayidat al-Najat) in the capital Baghdad. (AFP/Vatican Media)
Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq: Day One
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Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq: Day One
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Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III Yonan, left, and Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans Cardinal Louis Sako, right, listen to Pope Francis delivering his speech (AP)
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Pope Francis is welcomed by the Chaldean patriarch, Cardinal Louis Sako, at the Sayidat al-Nejat (Our Lady of Salvation) Cathedral, in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, March 5, 2021. (AP)
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Iraq's President Barham Salih meets with Pope Francis during a ceremony, at the presidental palace in Baghdad, Iraq March 5, 2021. (Reuters/Presidency Handout)
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Iraqi President Barham Salih and Pope Francis meet during the Pope's historic tour in Baghdad, Iraq, March 5, 2021. (Reuters/Vatican Media)
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Pope Francis meets with Iraqi President Barham Salih at the Presidential Palace in Baghdad, Iraq March 5, 2021. (Reuters/Vatican Media)
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Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi walks with Pope Francis upon his arrival at Baghdad International Airport, in Baghdad, Iraq March 5, 2021. (Office of Prime Minister/Reuters)
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Pope Francis is greeted by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi as he arrives at Baghdad's international airport, Iraq, Friday, March 5, 2021. (AP)
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Updated 09 March 2021
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Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq: Day One

LONDON: Pope France made the first-ever papal visit to Iraq on Friday, defying security concerns and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, where he wil also reach out to Shiite Muslims when he meets Iraq’s top cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani.