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Thailand greets Pope with a simple welcome

Pope John Paul II met Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej Thursday after arriving to a simple but warm welcome in mostly Buddhist Thailand. He thanked the monarch for giving sanctuary to ''thousands and thousands'' of Indochinese refugees.

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The Pope also noted that Thailand's ''respect for man's right to religious freedom renders immense honor to your land,'' according to a Vatican press release.

John Paul II is the first Pope to visit Thailand. During his current tour of Asia, the Pope has also visited South Korea, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands.

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