A delegation from the Vatican City State arrived in Iraq yesterday ahead of the official visit by the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, in March.
An official source told Russia Today that the delegation has already visited the city of Ur in Nasiriyah, where the pontiff is expected to deliver a speech.
This will be the first official trip to Iraq for Pope Francis. He is scheduled to arrive in Iraq on 5 March and stay for three days, during which he is expected to meet officials in Baghdad, Nasiriyah, Najaf, Nineveh and Erbil.
Parts of Iraq, including places where the Pope is due to visit, have witnessed popular rallies protesting against the lack of security, poor public services and high unemployment. This obviously poses a security risk for him.