01:40 GMT19 April 2021
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    • Pope Francis releases a white dove during a prayer for war victims at “Hosh al-Bieaa”, Church Square, in Mosul's Old City, Iraq, 7 March 2021.
    • Pope Francis arrives to hold a minute of silence at the destroyed cathedral in Mosul's Old City, Iraq, 7 March 2021.
    • People wait for the arrival of Pope Francis near the Grand Immaculate Church in the town of Qaraqosh, Iraq, 7 March 2021.
    • A security officer guards the area ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Mosul, Iraq, 7 March 2021.
    • A motorcade leaves the Syro-Catholic Cathedral of “Our Lady of Salvation” after Pope Francis' visit, in Baghdad, Iraq, 5 March 2021.
    • Pope Francis meets with Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, in Najaf, Iraq. Picture taken 6 March 2021.
    • Girls wave national flags as they gather at Church Square ahead of Pope Francis' arrival to visit Mosul, Iraq, 7 March 2021.
    • A photojournalist uses his camera from atop a broken wall near the ruins of the Syriac Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception (al-Tahira-l-Kubra), in the Old City of Iraq's northern Mosul, amidst preparations ahead of the Pope's visit, on 7 March 2021.
    • Pope Francis is welcomed as he arrives for an inter-religious prayer at the ancient archaeological site of Ur, traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Abraham, in Ur near Nasiriya, Iraq, 6 March 2021.
    • A girl sits down before Pope Francis holds a prayer at the Grand Immaculate Church in the town of Qaraqosh, Iraq, 7 March 2021.
    • Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi welcomes Pope Francis at Baghdad International Airport, in Baghdad, Iraq, 5 March 2021.
    • People wait for the arrival of Pope Francis near the Grand Immaculate Church in the town of Qaraqosh, Iraq, 7 March 2021.
    • A nun wearing a protective face mask greets Pope Francis during a prayer for war victims at “Hosh al-Bieaa”, Church Square, in Mosul's Old City, Iraq, 7 March 2021.
    • Journalists and people wait for the arrival of Pope Francis at “Hosh al-Bieaa”, Church Square, in Mosul's Old City, Iraq, 7 March 2021.
    • Pope Francis waves as he leaves after holding a mass at the Chaldean Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Baghdad, Iraq, 6 March 2021.
    © REUTERS / Khalid al-Mousily
    Pope Francis releases a white dove during a prayer for war victims at “Hosh al-Bieaa”, Church Square, in Mosul's Old City, Iraq, 7 March 2021.

    In early December, the Vatican announced a papal trip to Iraq from 5-8 March, where he would visit Baghdad, Najaf, Ur — which is famous as the birthplace of Abraham — and other cities.

    The papal plane landed at Baghdad International Airport after taking off from Italy’s Fiumicino Airport on Friday morning. Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi arrived at Baghdad’s airport to receive Pope Francis.

    The papal trip to Iraq will last until 8 March and includes visits to Baghdad, Najaf, Ur — thought to be the birthplace of Abraham — and other cities.

    Ahead of the visit, the pope said in a special address to the Iraqi people that he would come to their country as a peace messenger to pray for reconciliation after the years of war and terrorism that have plagued Iraq.

    Check out Sputnik's gallery to see the historic papal visit to Iraq. 

    Tags:
    Pope Francis, Vatican, Catholic Church, Vatican, visit, Iraq
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