His Holiness Pope Francis participates today, Monday 4 Feb., in the meeting held by the Muslim Council of Elders, headed by His Eminence Prof. Ahmad Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, in Zayed Mosque Abu Dhabi, UAE. The two religious leaders arrived in Abu Dhabi Sunday evening and were received by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. Then they both were driven in one car to their accommodation and they are scheduled to take part in many activities and key events.
The UAE hosts, during the period 3-5 February, a mutual visit by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and the Pope of the Vatican. This visit attached unprecedented attention on the Arab and the international levels, as it is considered the first visit ever by a Pontiff to the Arabian Peninsula. In addition, it clearly highlights the prominent status of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif and the Grand Imam as the senior Islamic Authority in the entire Islamic World and the institution concerned, more than others, with disseminating tolerance and the moderate course of Islam.