His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Prof Ahmed At-Tayyeb, received Mr. Ahmed Issa Awad, the Somali Minister of Foreign Affairs, during his visit to Cairo.
His Eminence the Grand Imam said that Al-Azhar and Somalia hold historical ties. The students of Somalia have always been present in the classes of Al-Azhar. He added that Al-Azhar pays great attention to the African countries in general and to Somalia in particular, as this sister country enjoys a great Arab and African significance.
The Grand Imam also said that Al-Azhar is keen to support Somalia and help it face the encountered problems, to promote the state and society, and to confront extremism and terrorism. Such support includes offering grants to Somali students to study at Al-Azhar, and sending relief convoys to Somalia. His Eminence also indicated readiness of Al-Azhar to double these grants, especially in the various scientific disciplines.
On his part, the Somali Minister of Foreign Affairs emphasized that Al-Azhar enjoys a great esteem and appreciation by all the Somalis. He also expressed his country's deep gratitude to Al-Azhar for its support of Somalia to face the difficult conditions it encounters.
Then, he expressed the aspiration of Somalia for further cooperation with Al-Azhar and further efforts of support, stressing that Al-Azhar's approach is the path of Somalia to get out of the tunnel of extremism and terrorism.