Prof. Ahmed El-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and President of the Muslims Council of Elders (MCE), met Pope Francis on Tuesday, as part of his four-day visit to Italy.
His Eminence the Grand Imam expressed his deep happiness for this meeting with “his friend” Pope Francis, who embodies a model of moderate and tolerant religious figure who is concerned about the sufferings of the poor and the homeless. Al-Azhar Al-Sharif shares Vatican the same concerns as these are the essence of teachings of the religions, which came for the good and happiness of the humanity.
On his part, Pope Francis appreciated this friendly visit and congratulated the Grand Imam for being honored by the University of Bologna, the oldest and the most prestigious university in Europe, appreciating the important role for his Eminence in supporting peace and dialogue across the world. In addition, Pope Francis affirmed that he looks forward to more cooperation and common work with Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, as the world is in dire need for those who build bridges of communication and dialogue, not walls of isolation and exclusion.