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Francis to visit meet leaders of Myanmar, Bangladesh during six-day trip

10 ottobre 2017 | 12.59
LETTURA: 2 minuti

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Pope Francis will in late November head to Myanmar and to neighbouring Bangladesh for a six-day visit to the region that will include meetings with the countries' political and religious leaders, according to a schedule for the trip issued by the Vatican on Tuesday.

Francis will set off for the two-nation visit on 26 November from Rome's Fiumicino airport, aboard a flight to Myanmar's former capital Yangon, where officials are due to welcome him on 27 November at 13.30 local time.

On 28 November, the pontiff will travel to Myanmar's modern capital, Naypyidaw, where he will be received by the country's president, Htin Kyaw and meet the country's civilian leader and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Aung San Suu Kyi has drawn international criticism for failing to stop or condemn violence in Myanmar's Rakhine State, where over half a million minority Rohingya Muslims have fled a deadly army crackdown since 25 August.

Francis, who has decried the persecution of the Rohingya, is expected to raise their plight during his visit to Myanmar, which is also known as Burma.

On 29 November, Francis will celebrate mass at the Kyaikkasan Ground stadium in Yangon before holding meetings with Buddhist monks and later with the country's bishops at St Mary's cathedral.

On 30 November, Francis will return to St Mary's cathedral to celebrate a mass there with young people before flying to the Bangladeshi capital Dacca.

Upon his arrival in Dacca, Francis will meet the president of Bangladesh, Abdul Hamid, and give an address after visiting the National Martyr's Memorial monument honouring those killed in the country's 1971 war of independence.

On 1 December, Francis will celebrate an open-air mass in Dacca's Suhrawardy Udyan Park before holding meetings with Bangladeshi premier Sheikh Hasina, Bangladeshi bishops and other faith leaders.

On 2 December, Francis will wrap up his trip with a visit a home in Dacca run by the Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa, and address priests, religious seminarians and novices.

Before flying back to Rome from Dacca in the evening, he will meet young people, according to the schedule for his visit.

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