Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb of Al-Azhar visited newly crowned Coptic Pope Tawadros II for the first time on Wednesday morning.
The visit took place at Saint Mark's Cathedral in Abbasiya, central Cairo. El-Tayeb was accompanied by Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa and a delegation of scholars and sheikhs from Al-Azhar, the most prestigious institution in Sunni Islam.
El-Tayeb congratulated Tawadros on becoming Egypt’s 118th pope.
“We are happy with this patriotic spirit,” Pope Tawadros said after the meeting.
The pope commended Al-Azhar and described it as an institution that “adopts a moderate discourse.”
El-Tayeb also spoke about future relations between the Orthodox Church and Al-Azhar.
“We hope to work together hand in hand as Muslims and Christians to remove any obstacles that affect the values of equal citizenship,” he said.
Pope Tawadros was crowned at a ceremony on 18 November. He replaced Pope Shenouda II who was pope for more than four decades.