Egyptian Minister of Defence Sedky Sobhy and Army Chief-of-Staff Mohamed Farid Hegazy offered on Thursday felicitations for Christmas to Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II at St Mark's Cathedral in Cairo, according to a statement by the Armed Forces spokesperson Tamer El-Refaie.
Sobhy told the pope that Egypt will, through the national unity of its people, remain safe from all forms of strife and crises, and will remain a treasured homeland for all Egyptians.
Pope Tawadros expressed his appreciation and gratitude for the Armed Forces in serving the nation and maintaining its security and stability, saying that Christmas represents hope for a bright future in light of the country's current achievements.
The visit to the church included commanders of various branches of the Armed Forces as well as top military brass.
Sobhy said that the men of the Armed Forces put the security of Egypt and the sanctity of its land above all other considerations, and are ready to make sacrifices to eradicate terrorism and extremism, and support construction and economic development.
Coptic Orthodox Egyptians, who make up 90 percent of all Christians in the country, celebrate Christmas on 7 January. A minority of non-Orthodox Christians observed the holiday on 25 December.
Coptic Christmas is a national holiday in Egypt.