VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis says his pilgrimage this week to the United Arab Emirates wrote a "new page in history of the dialogue between Christianity and Islam" and in promoting world peace based on brotherhood.

Telling pilgrims at the Vatican Wednesday about making the first-ever papal trip to the Arabian Peninsula, Francis described his encounter with leaders of Islam as a counterpoint to the "strong temptation" to contend there's a current clash between Christian and Islamic civilizations.

While in Abu Dhabi, Francis signed a document with the grand imam of Al-Azhar, the ancient seat of learning in Sunni Islam, condemning religiously motivated and other violence. The pope said the two religious leaders wanted to give a "clear and decisive sign" that respect and dialogue is possible between the Christian and Islamic worlds.