Grand Imam pays first visit to Pope Tawadros II

Ahram Online, Wednesday 21 Nov 2012

Ahmed El-Tayeb of Al-Azhar visits newly enthroned Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II at St Mark's Cathedral in Cairo

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.

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