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Tue May 24, 2016, 07:26 AM


Pope, Egypt's top Muslim cleric reject violence

May 23, 2016
Last Updated at 22:30 IST

Vatican City, May 23 (IANS/AKI) At a landmark meeting here on Monday, Pope Francis and Egypt's top Muslim cleric Ahmad al-Tayyeb agreed to oppose violence and terrorism and to strive to protect minority Christians in the Middle East, the Vatican said in a statement.

"The extremely cordial meeting lasted around 30 minutes. The two religious authorities underlined the great significance of this encounter in the context of dialogue between the Catholic Church and Islam," the Vatican statement said.

Tayyeb, chief imam of Cairo's prestigious Al-Azhar mosque and seminary, was accompanied by Egyptian Ambassador to the Holy See Hatem Seif Elnasra and a high-level delegation, according to the statement. The delegation included the deputy chief of al-Azhar, Abbas Shoman, the head of its dialogue centre, Mahmoud Hamdi Zaqzouq, and Tayyeb's advisor Muhammad Abdessalam, the statement said.

After the papal audience, Tayybe and his seven-member delegation had a separate meeting with the head of the Vatican's interfaith dialogue body, Jean-Louis Tauran, the statement added.



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