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Saturday, 5 May, 2001, 22:36 GMT 23:36 UK
In pictures: Pope in Syria
Pope John Paul II's first day on a visit to Syria was marked by an effort to build bridges between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches.

The Pope himself appealed for new attitudes of understanding and respect among Christians, Muslims and Jews.

Pope John Paul II reviews a Syrian honour guard on arriving at Damascus airport
Pope John Paul II described his four-day pilgrimage as an ardent prayer of hope

A boy peeps through the legs of Syrian police to get a look at the Pope
Syria is a country of diverse faiths and ethnic backgrounds

Wellwishers wave Vatican and Syrian flags from a bus in Damascus
The pontiff was warmly greeted in Damascus by enthusiastic crowds waving flags

The Pope and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at Damascus airport
The Pope was still at the airport when Syrian President Bashar al-Assad criticised Israel

The Pope in the VIP lounge at Damascus airport
The Vatican says the relationship with the Muslim world is of pivotal importance

Pope John Paul II greets well-wishers upon arriving at Damascus airport
Syrians hope the visit will improve their country's image

Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Damascus old city
The Pope met Greek Orthodox and Syrian Orthodox patriarchs

Ceremony at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Damascus old city
The pontiff received a present from Syrian Greek Orthodox Archbishop Agnatios Hazim IV

Greek Orthodox Mariamidiyeh church in Damascus
Pope John Paul II waved from his popemobile as he left a ceremony

Pope John Paul II embraces Syrian Greek-Orthodox Archbishop Agnatios Hazim IV
The Pope will become the first Roman Catholic Church leader ever to enter a mosque
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See also:

05 May 01 | Middle East
Syria plea for Pope support
05 May 01 | Europe
In pictures: Pope on tour
04 May 01 | Europe
Greek fury over Pope visit
15 Apr 01 | Europe
Pope leads Easter celebrations
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