Cairo - Vatican Pope Francis will embark on an official visit to Egypt by the end of April at an invitation from President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.
The pope will visit the Azhar Sheikhdom for talks with Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed Tayyeb, Presidential Spokesman Alaa Youssef said.
The Vatican pope will also visit Saint Mark's Cathedral for talks with Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and Patriarch of Saint Mark Diocese, the spokesman said.
Youssef said Egypt welcomes the Vatican pope's visit which will send a message of peace, entrench the values of forgiveness and dialogue and renounce terror and fanaticism.
The spokesman said the president highly appreciates the pope and his courageous stances vis-à-vis international issues.
added that the president welcomes the pope's visit to Egypt on the 70th
anniversary of establishing the Egyptian-Vatican diplomatic ties.
Last month, the Vatican’s point man on Muslim
relations, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, participated in a conference at
Al-Azhar focused on how Muslim and Catholic leaders can work to counter
fanaticism, extremism and violence in the name of religion.
Al-Azhar’s grand imam has a reputation as a
moderate who seeks better relations and understanding with the Roman
Catholic Church. He frequently meets with Tawadros and leaders of the
smaller Egyptian church denominations.