Baghdad prepares to welcome Pope Francis
Shafaq News/ Signs and graffitis of Pope Francis and Sayed Ali Al-Sistani try to hide the walls and massive concrete barricades planted everywhere in Baghdad's war-torn city the eve of the historic visit of the Vatican's pontiff.
Draconian measures have been in place throughout the Iraqi capital to secure the 3-day visit of the Pope in which he will meet the Iraqi three presidencies, the Ministers, civil organizations, and the Supreme Shiite Authority, Sayyid Ali Al-Sistani.
Guarded by a special force affiliated with the Prime Ministry, the Pontiff will land in Ur city in Dhi Qar and Nineveh Governorate.
The Pope tweeted on the eve of the anticipated visit, "Tomorrow I will go to Iraq for a three-day pilgrimage."
"I have long wanted to meet those people who have suffered so much. I ask to accompany this apostolic journey with your prayers, so it may unfold in the best possible way and bear hoped-for fruits," he added.