Dozens of government officials, ministers, heads of diplomatic missions, as well as heads of religious communities in Kuwait headed to the headquarters of the Apostolic Nunciature in Yarmouk to inscribe their condolences on the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, a local daily reported.

The Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Abdullah, conveyed the condolences of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister, the government and the people of Kuwait on the death of the late Pope. He added that the late Pope left a great impact, while stating the importance of the values that Kuwaitis have adopted from him.

On the other hand, Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Al-Abdullah extended his deepest condolences to the former Pope’s family and the Catholic community around the world, pointing out that the late Pope had great contributions, and stressing that Kuwaitis were brought up on the principle of tolerance and compassion for others.

The Apostolic Nuncio to the country, Archbishop Eugene Martin Nugent, stated that the late Pope was an extraordinary man not only in theology and philosophy, but in history, literature and the arts, as well. He described the relationship between Kuwait and the Vatican as long-standing, stressing that the diplomatic relations between them go back to the mid-sixties. Nugent also stated that the Vatican’s relationship with Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Al-Abdullah is exemplary, and stressing the restoration of the dialogues after suspension of the meetings due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nugent said he personally knew Pope Benedict, with whom he had worked closely for 13 years while in Hong Kong to follow up on the situation of the church in China, then adding that the late Pope appointed him as a papal nuncio in Madagascar. He said that the late Pope decided to resign from his position due to his health condition.

Meanwhile, Metropolitan Ghattas Hazim, the Metropolitan of Baghdad and Kuwait and their dependencies, told the Greek Orthodox that the late Pope was the guardian of the Catholic faith and was distinguished by his great humility, adding that his resignation from office was the second case of resignation in Catholic history.

Moreover, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador of Tajikistan Zubaidullah Zubaidov, said that the late Pope was a prominent political figure and a statesman, adding that the deceased was very peace-loving and played a major role in improving relations between peoples, as well as maintaining security and peace.

On another note, Korean Ambassador to the country Chang Byung-ha offered his deep condolences on behalf of the embassy staff on the death of the late Pope.

In addition, Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Al-Abdullah thanked the Tunisian government for the release of the Kuwaiti reciter Mahmoud Al-Rifai, pointing out that the release order was directly from the presidential palace, as a result of the close relations between Kuwait and Tunisia and the distinguished relationship that binds His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad to the Tunisian President Qais Al-Saeed. He added that the relationship contributed to the speedy release of Sheikh Mahmoud, who he said had nothing to do with money laundering and combating terrorism, and that work is currently underway to arrange his return to Kuwait.

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