Pope Francis gifting Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan a copy of the Human Fraternity document. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Against the backdrop of Pope Francis’ historic three-day visit to the UAE, the nation’s leadership has underlined the “sacred duty” of the “forces of good” to defeat the “pawns of the devil and the proponents of the clash of civilisations”.

The message came from His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in an open letter on Tuesday to his “brothers and sisters in humanity throughout the world”.

Pope Francis with Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed ahead of boarding his plane for Vatican City. Image Credit: AFP

It follows a meeting held in Abu Dhabi on Monday during which Pope Francis and Dr Ahmad Al Tayyeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar, signed the Declaration of Human Fraternity.

The pope arrived in Abu Dhabi on Sunday and returned to the Vatican on Tuesday after celebrating mass at Zayed Sports City Stadium.

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In his open letter, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed noted that the UAE’s welcoming of Pope Francis and Dr Al Tayyeb “all point to an unequivocal message that the legacy of the Founding Father, Shaikh Zayed, lives on”.

Dr Ahmad Al Tayyeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar also hands Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed a copy of the Human Fraternity document. Image Credit: Twitter

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed conveyed greetings to all from “the home of Zayed”, who was “the embodiment of tolerance in its brightest form”.

He added: “Tolerance is a powerful weapon that can defeat evil no matter how powerful it may be.”

As the UAE marks 2019 as the Year of Tolerance, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed: “The world is enough to accommodate all of us and our differences. Diversity is and should always be a source of riches rather than a cause of rift and conflict.

“The universal messages that comes from the UAE, a message that represents humanity as a whole, is that we should all world hard to promote tolerance, love and human fraternity. We should all do our best to protect human dignity and ensure the prosperity of the human race in its entirety.”

Pope Francis waving to Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan as he prepares to board his plane. Image Credit: AFP