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Pope Francis cancels COP28 trip to Dubai


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Vatican City: Pope Francis has canceled his working trip to Dubai for the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) on doctors’ advice due to illness, Holy See spokesman Matteo Bruni said on Tuesday.

“Although the overall clinical picture of Pope Francis’ flu and airway inflammation has improved, doctors have asked the pope not to make his planned trip to Dubai scheduled for the coming days … Pope Francis accepted the doctors’ request with great regret and the trip was canceled,” Bruni said in a statement released by the Holy See press office.

However, other ways “will be defined” for the pontiff and the Holy See to take part in the COP28 discussions, Bruni added.

COP28 will take place from November 30 to December 12 in Dubai. Annual COP events focus on addressing climate change and its impacts.

Last week, the Holy See announced that all previously scheduled audiences with the 86-year pontiff had been canceled “due to a mild flu-like condition.” The Holy See also said that the Pope would not appear in St. Peter’s Square due to illness and would deliver his Sunday sermon via video link from the chapel of his residence.

On Monday, Bruni said that the Pope’s condition was “good and stable,” adding that he had no fever and was taking antibiotics. A CT scan ruled out pneumonia, but showed pulmonary inflammation causing some breathing difficulties, the spokesman stated.

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