Pope's personal secretary awarded Order of Zayed II

Monsignor Yoannis Lahzi Gaid accepted the award during the Pope's visit to the UAE this week

Pope Francis's personal secretary has been awarded the Order of Zayed II first class by President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Monsignor Yoannis Lahzi Gaid was given the honour in appreciation of his efforts towards the success of peace initiatives and the spread of a culture of peaceful coexistence among followers of different religions.

The 43-year-old aide was presented with the order by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed during the groundbreaking February visit of Pope Francis to the UAE.

He speaks fluent Arabic, Italian, French and English and assists the Pope with translation and correspondence.

Sheikh Mohamed said he appreciated the role played by the personal secretary in promoting the culture and values of fraternity, harmony and coexistence among people.

Monsignor Lahzi Gaid expressed his delight at being honoured with the Order and applauded the UAE's role in spreading human values of different religions for promoting goodness, cooperation as well as assisting and accepting the other.