Pope Francis met on Tuesday with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Muhammad al-Tayeb who is in Rome to attend a conference organised by the St Egidio community.
During the meeting the Pope urged dialogue between religions and promoted peace.
The two officials stressed that they will continue their efforts to spread the culture of coexistence between the different peoples of the world and they will continue to advocate the values of peace, tolerance, justice and equality.
Al-Azhar said in a statement: “The meeting focused on joint efforts to support global peace, especially after the International Peace Conference that was hosted by al-Azhar in April.”
Pope Francis had taken part in the concluding session of the conference and he had also held talks with Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.
Regional sectarian conflicts and religious and racial persecution were at the heart of Tuesday’s talks between the pope and Sheikh al-Azhar.
Dr. al-Tayeb stressed that religion had nothing to do with the calls for violence and extremism. For his part, the pope called for spreading peace, not inciting crises.