His Eminence Dr Ahmed El-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders has today hosted His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates in Cairo.
During the meeting, His Eminence said, “Al-Azhar Al-Sharif appreciates the United Arab Emirates’ efforts in supporting the causes of the Arab and Muslim worlds as well its active role in backing peaceful initiatives and religious dialogue around the world. The UAE’s exemplary model of coexistence and tolerance among its residents is something which is equally noteworthy and must be commended.”
The Grand Imam also offered his congratulations to His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the occasion of the UAE’s 47th annual day, which celebrates the nation’s founding and union. His Eminence added, “The father and founder of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed, may Allah have mercy on him, managed to build a nation which successfully integrated modernity and progress while maintaining its Arab and Muslim identity.”
For his part, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said, “The Grand Imam’s determined international efforts in combating extremism and spreading the culture of peace among people of all walks, have become humanity’s most trusted weapon against extremist thought and terrorism. Likewise, it is also worth noting Al-Azhar’s measured approach in refuting extremist ideology and shielding youth from the grasps of terrorist organisations.”
His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan also issued an official invitation to the Grand Imam from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE's Armed Forces to visit the UAE and attend the ‘Interfaith Leaders Dialogue for Humanity’ international conference which is set to be hosted by the UAE and will be attended by Pope Francis, supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church as well a number of religious symbols from around the world.