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Pope's Mideast visit has 'political dimension': Cleric

Published on Jan 8, 2014 11:35 PM

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Francis's visit to the Middle East in May will inevitably have a "political dimension" and there are high expectations also among the Muslim population, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem said on Wednesday.

Fouad Twal said in an interview with I.Media, a news agency specialised in Vatican affairs, that he hoped the visit would also help develop closer relations between local Catholic and Orthodox communities.

"Of course the visit will have a political dimension because this dimension is our oxygen," Twal said.

Francis on Sunday announced he will travel to Amman, Bethlehem and Jerusalem on May 24-26.

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