Pope sent ‘warm greetings’ to Rivlin during flight over Israel to Iraq

Pope Francis relayed a message to President Reuven Rivlin during the pontiff’s flight yesterday over northern Israel on his way to Iraq, Rivlin’s office says.

The message was relayed by the pilot of the Alitalia plane.

“To His Excellency Reuven Rivlin, President of the State of Israel. Entering Israeli airspace on my Apostolic journey to Iraq, I send warm greetings to you and the people of the nation. Praying that almighty God will bless you all with His gift of harmony and peace. Franciscus Papa,” he said.

Rivlin’s office says that “air traffic control of the Israel Airports Authority in the north of the country thanked the pilot and promised to convey the message to the president, who was deeply moved by the kind words from the Pope, with whom he is in close and warm contact.”

Rivlin has tweeted his thanks.