VATICAN CITY, AUG. 21, 2007 ( Benedict XVI named Archbishop Paul-Mounged El-Hachem as apostolic nuncio for the United Arab Emirates.

Archbishop El-Hachem is also the apostolic nuncio for Kuwait, Yemen, Bahrain, Qatar and the apostolic delegate for the Arabian Peninsula, which includes Saudi Arabia, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Mounged El-Hachem was born in El-Akoura in 1934. He was ordained a priest in 1959.

He worked in the Pontifical Council for Social Communications from 1970 to 1978, the year in which he was transferred to the Section for General Affairs of the Vatican Secretariat of State. In 1993, he was appointed head of that office.

In 1994, he was elected bishop of Baalbek-Deir El-Ahmar of the Maronites and received episcopal ordination the following Sept. 13.

United Arab Emirates has 4.5 million habitants. Some 96% are Muslim.


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