Pope Francis accorded red carpet reception

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PV Desk : Bangladesh today rolled out the red carpet as Pope Francis, the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, arrived at Hazrat Shahjalal (R) International Airport (HSIA) here this afternoon on a three-day state visit.

A 21-gun salute heralded the arrival of the 80-year-old Pope Francis when he alighted from a VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines in Dhaka, wrapping up his three-day Myanmar visit, at around at 3:05 pm.

President M Abdul Hamid received the Pope near the VVIP Tarmac of the airport, while two tiny tots presented him a bouquet.

A smartly turned out contingent drawn from Bangladesh Army, Navy and Air Force gave a guard of honour and state salute to the highest catholic priest while accompanied by the president Pope Francis he took the salute from a makeshift “Saluting Dais” after inspecting the guard.

The national anthems of Bangladesh and Vatican City were played on the occasion. This was the second Bangladesh visit by a pope since 1986 visit by John Paul II.

Pope Francis arrived here at the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Bangladesh.