News

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Meets Pope Francis in Historic Encounter

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Meets Pope Francis in Historic Encounter

Sheik Ahmed el-Tayyib, left, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque, exchange gifts with Pope Francis during a private audience in the Apostolic Palace, at the Vatican (Max Rossi/Pool photo via AP)
Sheik Ahmed el-Tayyib, left, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque, exchange gifts with Pope Francis during a private audience in the Apostolic Palace, at the Vatican (Max Rossi/Pool photo via AP)

Egypt’s Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayyeb met Pope Francis in the Vatican on Monday in what has been described as a historic encounter between the two religious leaders, AFP reported.

The meeting, the first of its kind between the heads of the Catholic Church and the top authority in Sunni Islam, lasted for about 30 minutes and ended with a hug and kisses, seen as symbolizing the strengthening of relations between Islam and Christianity.

“Our meeting is the message,” the Pope told the Grand Imam, according to officials speaking to a small group of journalists covering the event.

On his part, Tayyeb said his trip to the Vatican aimed to “explore efforts to spread peace and co-existence.”

The warm-hearted meeting comes following a deterioration of relations between the two religious institutions after Pope Benedict XVI made controversial remarks on Islam. According to Al-Azhar, in a 2006 speech in Germany, he linked Islam to violence, prompting the initial freeze in relations and widespread protests in a number of countries.

Today’s meeting was nevertheless described by the vatican as “very cordial” and the embrace of the two religious leaders is seen as marking a considerable shift in the nature of relations.

Francis, who succeeded Benedict XVI in 2013, has sought to improve relations with other faiths. In March, he made headlines after he washed and kissed the feet of 12 young Muslim, Christian and Hindu refugees in an act aimed at bolstering international protection for refugees.

“All of us together, Muslims, Hindus, Catholics, Copts, Evangelical [Protestants] brothers and sisters — children of the same God — we want to live in peace, integrated,” he said.

Egypt-Led Investigative Team to Release Preliminary Report on EgyptAir Crash in One Month
Israel Returns Ancient Sarcophagus Covers to Egypt, Says Relations 'Warming'

Subscribe to our newsletter


News

More in News

Putin: Russia to Resume Flights to Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh in the Nearest Time

Mirna AbdulaalOctober 19, 2018

Egypt Qualifies for the 2019 African Cup of Nations

Mirna AbdulaalOctober 17, 2018

Egyptian Army: 450 Terrorists Killed in Sinai Offensive

Mirna AbdulaalOctober 16, 2018

Australia Slammed for Considering Moving Embassy to Jerusalem

Egyptian StreetsOctober 16, 2018

Egypt Will Reuse Treated Wastewater in Agriculture

Nour EltiganiOctober 16, 2018

Egypt Talks with International Banks to Decrease World Prices

Nour EltiganiOctober 15, 2018

Egypt Backs Saudi Arabia Over the Case of Missing Journalist Khashoggi

Mirna AbdulaalOctober 15, 2018

Siwa’s Shali Village Restoration to Be Complete by 2020

Egyptian StreetsOctober 14, 2018
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2017 Egyptian Streets. All Rights Reserved.