Pope Tawadros II with Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah at Bayan Palace in Kuwait (Photo: Ahram)
Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II met with the emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, on Monday morning, according to Al-Ahram Arabic news website.
The emir received Tawadros at the emir's Bayan Palace on the second day of his official visit to Kuwait.
Tawdros arrived in Kuwait on Sunday at the invitation of the emir, marking the first such visit to the Gulf state by a Coptic Orthodox patriarch. During the four-day visit, the Coptic cleric will inaugurate a new cathedral.
Egypt's ambassador to Kuwait Yasser Atef told state-run news agency MENA on Friday that the pope is scheduled to hold spiritual meetings and attend a celebratory dinner along with the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Kuwait, Bishop Bishoy.
Tawadros was scheduled also to meet the emir, Sheikh Al-Sabah, to thank him for his support for the Coptic Orthodox Church, and to meet with Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, as well as Prime Minister Jaber Al-Mubarak.
Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, will arrive in Egypt next Friday for a two-day visit, during which he will meet with Tawadros, as well as with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and other officials.
Unofficial estimates put the number of Coptic Orthodox Christians in Egypt at around 10 to 15 percent of the population. An estimated 1-2 million Copts live abroad, with large congregations in the US, Canada, and several European and Gulf states.