Pope Francis arrived in Jordan Saturday on the first leg of a Middle East tour aimed at bettering relations with Jews and Muslims and easing an ancient rift within Christianity.
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The pontiff smiled as he walked down the steps from his plane and was greeted by a military salute. He shook hands with political and religious dignitaries, before receiving bouquets of flowers from two children dressed in traditional Jordanian costume.
The 77-year-old pontiff then walked down a red carpet with Prince Ghazi bin Mohammed, King Abdullah II's religious affairs adviser, who offered him a cup of Arabic coffee in a small sitting room.
He was then escorted to a small white car, which set off for the royal palace in a long motorcade greeted by screaming fans holding banners reading "Long live the pope!"