Pope meets father of drowned Syrian refugee boy

The image of Alan Kurdi’s body, washed up on Turkish shores, came to symbolise the perilous journey to Europe.

Pope meets father of drowned Syrian refugee boy

Pope Francis has met the father of Alan Kurdi, a three-year old Syrian boy who drowned crossing the Mediterranean Sea and whose image drew global attention to the plight of refugees fleeing to Europe.

Following a mass on Sunday in the Iraqi city of Irbil, Francis met with Abdullah Kurdi and spent a long time with him, the Vatican said.

Through an interpreter, the Pope listened to Mr Kurdi’s story and expressed sympathy for the loss of his family. He thanked the Pope for his words.

Pope Francis waves to the faithful in Irbil, Iraq
Pope Francis waves to the faithful as he arrives for an open air mass in Irbil, Iraq (Hadi Mizban/AP)

When their boat capsized, Alan, one of his brothers and his mother died.

The image of Alan’s body, washed up on Turkish shores, came to symbolise the perilous journey to Europe.

The father now runs a charity in Irbil.

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