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Open newsletter – february 23, 2022

ASIA A divide is emerging between how the Asia Pacific region has responded to the Omicron wave of COVID-19, and how North American and Western European countries have responded. East Asia Forum, Jeremy Youde: Asia’s cautious approach to Omicron AUSTRALIA One of the former Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials involved with a new […]

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Pope calls migrant crisis ‘shipwreck of civilisation’ (Philip Pullella and Lefteris Papadimas, Reuters)

Pope Francis condemned the exploitation of migrants for political purposes on Sunday during a visit to the Greek island of Lesbos, branding the global indifference to their plight the “shipwreck of civilisation”. Pope calls migrant crisis ‘shipwreck of civilisation’ | Reuters

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Pope Francis urges ‘fraternity’ at mass in divided Cyprus (AFP, Arab News)

Pope Francis appealed for a “sense of fraternity” in an open-air mass in Cyprus on Friday, the second day of a visit to the divided Mediterranean island that has focused heavily on the plight of migrants. As a gesture of solidarity to those fleeing poverty and conflict, the 84-year-old pontiff was expected to offer 50 […]

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(Iraq/Pope Francis) Pope Francis visited Iraq at a time locals fear ISIS’ resurgence (ORF)

ANCHAL VOHRA Pope Francis, the chief of the Roman Catholic church, visited Iraq in a historic visit last week. In a meeting oozing symbolism, the pope met Ayatollah Sistani, the religious leader of Iraqi Shias.

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(Iraq/Pope Francis) Pope Francis’s visit to Iraq: Beyond the symbolism (Al Jazeera)

Ibrahim Al-Marashi Interfaith dialogue is important, but the fate of Iraqi minorities is hinged on the success of state-building in Iraq. https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2021/3/9/pope-franciss-visit-to-iraq-beyond-the-symbolism

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(Iraq/Pope Francis) Pope ends historic Iraq visit with messages of coexistence (Al Jazeera)

Pope Francis leaves Iraq after touring four cities in the first-ever papal visit to the Middle Eastern country. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/8/pope-ends-iraq-visit-after-mass-in-isil-ruined-city-of-mosul

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(Iraq/Pope Francis) Pope Francis visits Iraq’s war-ravaged north on last day of tour (Al Jazeera)

Pope arrives in Erbil and is expected to visit Mosul, visit small Christian community of Qaraqosh. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/7/pope-francis-visits-iraqs-war-ravaged-north-on-last-day-of-tour

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(Iraq/Pope Francis) Pope Francis Visits Iraqi Christians Who Suffered ‘Years of Difficulties’ Under IS (VoA)

Pope Francis, who is on an historic Iraq tour, Sunday visits Christian communities that endured the brutality of the Islamic State group until the jihadists’ caliphate was defeated three years ago. https://www.voanews.com/middle-east/pope-francis-visits-iraqi-christians-who-suffered-years-difficulties-under

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(Iraq/Pope Francis) Pope Francis urges Iraq’s Muslims, Christians to unite for peace (Al Jazeera)

Pope Francis travelled to the ancient city of Ur in southern Iraq to reinforce his message of interfaith tolerance. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/6/pope-francis-urges-iraqs-muslims-christians-to-unite-for-peace

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(Iraq/Pope Francis) Pope Francis meets Iraq’s Shia leader al-Sistani (Al Jazeera)

The pontiff met Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in holy city of Najaf to urge Muslims to embrace Iraq’s beleaguered Christians. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/6/pope-francis-meets-iraqs-shia-leader-al-sistani

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(Iraq/Pope Francis) Pope Meets with Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah (VoA)

Pope Francis, leader of the world’s Roman Catholics, met Saturday in Iraq with the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a leading Shiite Muslim figure. https://www.voanews.com/middle-east/pope-meets-iraqs-grand-ayatollah