Al-Azhar's top cleric to visit Indonesia for first time
Ahram Online , Friday 19 Feb 2016
Al-Azhar has described the visit as 'historic'

The grand imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar, the highest seat of Sunni Islamic learning, is to visit Indonesia on Saturday, his first such visit to the Asian country.

On its official website, Al-Azhar described the multi-day visit by Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb to the Indonesian capital, Jakarta , as "historic."

During the visit, Egypt's top cleric will meet with Indonesian President Joko Widodo as well as top Muslim clerics and preachers.

El-Tayeb is due to address Muslims around the world in a speech he will give from Jakarta, Al-Azhar said.He will also attend a gathering of the World Association of Al-Azhar Graduates.

He will be granted an honorary doctorate as a mark of "recognition to his scientific and religious roles in spreading the moderate values of Islam and denouncing violence and terrorism," Al-Azhar said.

Around 3,200 Indonesian students are currently studying at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, according to data given by an official at the embassy of Indonesia. Al-Azhar has sent several preaching missions to the Asian country over the past years.

In January, Indonesia opened four dormitory buildings for students at Al-Azhar, worth $5 million, in what it said at the time was in return for the "great role of Al-Azhar in Indonesia".