Pope Francis

(Vatican-Radio) Pope Francis left the Armenian capital, Yerevan, on Sunday afternoon at the conclusion of his three day pastoral visit to the Caucasian nation.

The Alitalia plane carrying the Pope and his entourage back to Rome took off following a farewell ceremony on the airport runway with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, alongside Catholicos Karekin II, head of the Armenian Apostolic Church and leaders of the small Catholic community there.

The Pope was due to arrive back in Rome shortly before 9pm local time at the conclusion of this 14th international papal journey.

During the visit, the Pope signed a common declaration with Patriarch Karekin giving thanks for progress towards Christian unity, while also appealing for peace in the world.

He visited the nation's genocide memorial museum, took part in an ecumenical prayer vigil for peace, travelled to the northern city of Gyumri and to the monastery of Khor Virap, close to the border with Turkey, where the country's rulers became the first to adopt Christianity as a state religion in the year 301.