Pope to visit UAE for February interfaith meeting

Pope Francis, flanked by Vatican Prefect of the Pontifical Household, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, delivers his message during a weekly general audience

Pope Francis, flanked by Vatican Prefect of the Pontifical Household, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, delivers his message during a weekly general audience

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis plans to visit the United Arab Emirates in February, adding another trip to an already busy 2019 for foreign travel.

The Vatican said Thursday that Francis would be participating in an interfaith meeting during the Feb. 3-5 trip to Abu Dhabi.

The theme of the trip is peace, with the logo featuring a dove carrying an olive branch, suggesting Francis will be making a strong appeal for Christian-Muslim dialogue and peace in the region.

The 81-year-old Francis will make the trip just a week after returning home from Panama, where he is due to visit Jan. 22-27 to participate in the Catholic Church's World Youth Day rally.

In March, Francis is due to travel to Morocco, while a 2019 trip to Japan is also under consideration.