Pope Francis cancels trip to COP28 climate conference in Dubai due to illness.
30 November 2023, 12:00 AM
31 December 2023, 12:00 AM
Rome: Pope Francis has cancelled his upcoming trip to Dubai for the COP28 climate talks after advice from doctors, the Vatican said Tuesday.
"Although the Holy Father's general clinical picture has improved with regard to his flu-like condition and inflammation of the respiratory tract, doctors have asked the Pope not to make the trip planned for the coming days to Dubai", Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement.
Francis, 86, was scheduled to leave on Friday to address the Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai on Saturday. He would have become the first pontiff to address a UN climate conference.
The announcement marked the second time the pope’s frail health had forced the cancellation of a foreign trip: He had to postpone a planned trip to Congo and South Sudan in 2022 because of knee inflammation, though he was able to make the trip earlier this year.
Francis revealed Sunday that he had lung inflammation but said he still planned to go to Dubai to address the COP28 climate change conference.
"Pope Francis accepted the doctors’ request with great regret and the trip is therefore canceled," Matteo Bruni added.
Francis, who turns 87 next month, had part of one lung removed as a young man.