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Germany's Merkel visits Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral and Al-Azhar

The German chancellor met on Thursday Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church and Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb of Al-Azhar

Ahram Online , Thursday 2 Mar 2017
Merkel and Pope
Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel and Pope Tawadros II, the head of Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo (Photo: Coptic Orthodox church)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited on Thursday evening the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral as well as Al-Azhar in Cairo as part of her official two-day visit to Egypt.

Merkel was received by Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, at St Mark's Cathedral in Cairo.

The German leader also paid a short visit to the St. Peter and St. Paul Church, where she paid her respects for the victims of the terrorist bombing that targeted the church in December, killing at least 28 civilians, mostly women and children.

The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

After the visit to the cathedral, Merkel made her first official visit to Al-Azhar -- the world's highest seat of Sunni Islamic learning -- where she met with Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb.

Merkel discussed with El-Tayeb the role of Al-Azhar in standing against radicalism and Islamophobia, as well as the state of Muslims abroad.  

This is Merkel's first visit to Egypt since 2007.

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