In an effort to promote security, peace and stability in the region and the world, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces has gone to Rome.

During his visit, Sheikh Mohamed will visit the Vatican City, where he will meet with Pope Francis. 

What will they be discussing? The duo aim to talk about bilateral ties between the UAE and the Vatican, and ways in which they can develop their relationship.

sheikh mohamed

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s portrait.

Roughly 1.5 million Muslims live in Italy, however Islam is not formally recognised as a religion in the country.

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Despite Islam being the country’s second-biggest religion, Italy’s Muslim population only have access to just two official, purpose-built mosques.

As a result, many of Italy’s Muslims are forced to set up make-shift mosques in parking lots, warehouses, and alleyways.

According to a survey conducted by global attitudes and trends experts Pew Research Centre, Italians have the most unfavourable view of Muslims throughout the whole of Europe.

In the UK, 19 per cent of residents view Muslims unfavourably. In France, where the burqa and burkini are banned the figure is 24 per cent. However, in Italy, a whopping 61 per cent of the population reportedly view Muslims unfavourably.

The UAE and the Vatican will be reviewing their joint cooperation efforts in promoting tolerance, dialogue and coexistence, and values held by all religions.

As well as the  Pope, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince will also be meeting with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, as well as a number of other Vatican officials.

After the Vatican, the Crown Prince is back off to Italy, where he’ll be meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to discuss ways of developing friendship and cooperation relations between the two countries.

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Images: Getty, AbuDhabi2.