Pope Francis Meets Father Of Alan Kurdi, Drowned Syrian Toddler.

Pope Francis Meets Father Of Alan Kurdi, Drowned Syrian Toddler

The Pope spoke for a long time with Abdullah Kurdi, said a statement by the Vatican.

Arbil, Iraq:

Pope Francis on his last night in Iraq Sunday met the father of Alan Kurdi, the drowned Syrian Kurdish toddler who became a symbol of the plight of migrants.

The photos of Alan's tiny body, washed up on a Turkish beach in 2015, shocked the world and brought renewed attention to the deadly sea route many migrants take to reach the West.

After holding his last public event on Sunday, the 84-year-old met Alan's father Abdullah in Arbil, the capital of Iraq's northern Kurdistan region.

In a photograph published by the Vatican, the Pope is seen raising his hand as if offering a blessing while looking intently at Abdullah, who has his head bowed.

"The Pope spoke for a long time with Abdullah Kurdi, and was able to hear the pain of a father who has lost his family," said a statement by the Vatican.

The Kurdi family originally hails from Kobane in northern Syria, and were hoping to one day resettle in Canada.

But their dream turned to a nightmare six years ago when three-year-old Alan drowned alongside his older brother Galip and his mother Rehanna.

The only survivor was Abdullah, who resettled in northern Iraq.

The Pope has for years called for an end to the conflict in Syria, which erupted in 2011 in protests against the ruling regime before spiralling into violence.

The ensuing war has killed more than 387,000 people, ravaged key infrastructure and displaced millions.

During an interfaith service in southern Iraq on Saturday, Pope Francis made a plea for "unity" after war.

"Let us ask for this in praying for the whole Middle East. Here I think especially of neighbouring war-torn Syria," he said.

The pontiff will return to Rome on Monday morning but said he would always keep Iraq "in his heart."

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news

UAE Selects First Arab Woman For Space Programme

The United Arab Emirates has selected the first Arab woman to train as an astronaut, as the Gulf country rapidly expands into the space sector to diversify its economy.

NDTV News

Prince Philip 'Helped To Steer The Royal Family': Prime Minister Pays Tribute - NBC News NOW.

Prince Philip 'Helped To Steer The Royal Family': Prime Minister Pays Tribute - NBC News NOW.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, whose death at Windsor Castle was announced this morning. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of i...

Study: Biden's tax plan could kill 1 million jobs in first two years.

Study: Biden's tax plan could kill 1 million jobs in first two years.

Tax expert John Diamond, who conducted the study, explains the findings on 'Fox & Friends.' #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service d...

Buckingham Palace Confirms Prince Philip Has Died At 99 - NBC News NOW.

Buckingham Palace Confirms Prince Philip Has Died At 99 - NBC News NOW.

Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Philip has died at the age of 99. The Prince was the Queen's husband and consort for more than 70 years. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative an...

MoneyWatch: Nearly half of U.S. companies in the S and P 500 paid more foreign taxes than federal…

MoneyWatch: Nearly half of U.S. companies in the S and P 500 paid more foreign taxes than federal…

New reporting from CBS News MoneyWatch finds that nearly half of the larger U.S. companies in a major index paid more money in foreign taxes than they did in U.S. federal taxes for 2020. Analysis shows that 241 companies paid a combined $73 billio...

COVID-19: Traffic light countries to be introduced as holidays could cost £100s in tests.

COVID-19: Traffic light countries to be introduced as holidays could cost £100s in tests.

Ministers have told the public for the first time that they can begin to book holidays abroad this summer as the government prepares a traffic light system for travellers. Countries will be placed under a green, amber or red light depending on vac...

UK's Prince Philip has died at age 99

UK's Prince Philip has died at age 99

Prince Philip, the lifelong companion of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, has died, Buckingham Palace announced Friday. He was 99. In a statement, the palace said: "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved ...