Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, has affirmed his support for Egypt's efforts to combat terrorism and achieve security and stability in the Middle East, Egypt's foreign minister said in a statement on Wednesday.
Pope Francis made the comments in Rome last Friday, as he received Egypt's new ambassador to the Vatican, Mahmoud Sami, the statement read.
Francis conveyed a message of greeting and appreciation to the Egyptian people and President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi via the new ambassador.
During the meeting, Samy laid out Egypt's vision on regional and international issues, especially counter-terrorism and ways of addressing the root causes of the phenomenon.
The ambassador expressed Egypt's appreciation for the Vatican's pivotal role in spreading peace in the world, conveying El-Sisi's greetings and best regards to Francis.
Pope Francis paid a visit to Egypt in April, meeting with El-Sisi, Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, and Al-Azhar's Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb. It was the first trip to Egypt by a Roman Catholic pope since Pope John Paul II's visit in 2000.
Francis and Tawadros signed a mutual declaration that their respective Churches would seek to acknowledge baptisms performed in the other's Church.
In October, Francis blessed an icon depicting the Holy Family's journey through Egypt, a move described by Egypt's Minister of Tourism Yehia Rashed as “the crowning glory” in accrediting Egypt as an international Christian pilgrimage spot.