Egypt's President Morsi receives Coptic papal delegation

Ahram Online, Menna, Wednesday 21 Nov 2012

Delegation from Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church - headed up by newly ordained Pope Tawadros II - offers condolences for recent death of president's sister

Pope Tawadros II and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (Photo: courtesy of Pope Tawadros II facebook page)

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday received a delegation of Coptic Church officials who offered him their condolences for the death of his sister on Tuesday.

The church delegation, which was headed by newly ordained Coptic Pope Tawadros II, also thanked Morsi for sending a presidential representative to attend the new pope's ordination ceremony earlier this month.

The meeting was also attended by Vice President Mahmoud Mekki and former presidential chief-of-staff Mohamed Refaa El-Tahtawi.

"President Morsi assured Pope Tawadros II and his delegation that he was responsible for safeguarding the rights of all Egyptians without distinction," a presidential spokesman announced on Wednesday.

The spokesman went on to stress that Morsi was "keen to reach a consensus on Egypt's new constitution."

Also on Wednesday, Parliamentary and Legal Affairs Minister Mohamed Mahsoub visited Tawadros at the papal residence in Cairo's Cathedral of St. Mark to congratulate him on the church's well-organised papal elections.

At the end of the visit, Mahsoub declared that the Coptic Church would remain "part of the homeland and identity of Egypt" regardless of whether its representatives participated in Egypt's Constitutional Assembly, tasked with drafting a new constitution.

Earlier this week, the Coptic Church pulled its representatives from the Constituent Assembly to protest perceived attempts by the assembly's Islamist majority to enshrine Islamic Law in the country's new national charter.

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