CAIRO: Representatives of Sunni Islam’s prestigious Al Azhar institution and from the Vatican held talks in Cairo on Wednesday following up on a rapprochement launched in 2016.
Their meeting focused on the role of the Cairo-based institution and the Vatican “in countering fanaticism, extremism and violence”, Al Azhar said in a statement.
“Dialogue must prevail between men to dissipate... differences, and religion is capable of overcoming discord with tolerance,” Mahmoud Zaqzouq of Al Azhar said in an opening address.
The Vatican delegation was led by Jean-Louis Tauran, a French cardinal who heads a Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, of which Pope Francis is a keen advocate.
The pope hosted the grand imam of Al Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayeb, at the Vatican last May, in a warming of ties damaged when former pope Benedict XVI appeared to associate Islam with terrorism in a 2006 speech.
Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2017