Saudi King Salman receives Pope Tawadros in Cairo

09-04-2016 06:56 PM

Michael Victor

In a historic first, King Salman Bin Abdel-Aziz of Saudi Arabia who is on a State visit to Cairo, received yesterday Friday 8 April Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The Pope met King Salman at his place of residence in Cairo.

Pope Tawadros welcomed King Salman to the land of Egypt, and said he aspired for the good relations between the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Kingdom of Saud Arabia to grow even further. He said that Egyptians one and all can never forget that Saudi Arabia stood by Egypt and strongly supported her when the massive people’s revolution of 30 June 2013 succeeded in overthrowing the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood regime that came to rule Egypt in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring.

The Pope talked with the King about the situation and conditions of Copts in Saudi Arabia.

The meeting is the first to take place between a Saudi monarch and a Coptic Pope. Saudi Arabia is known to ban the presence or building of any church on its land, and to confiscate Bibles or Christian religious material with travellers entering the country. In November 2007 King Abdullah Bin Abdel-Aziz of Saudi Arabia, King Salman’s predecessor, met Pope Benedict XVI while the King was on a European tour.

The visit of King Salman to Egypt is the first since he ascended to the throne in January 2015, and represents a strong improvement in relations between the two countries. The King held talks with President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and pledged economic support to Egypt to the tune of billions of dollars in aid and investments.

Watani International
9 April 2016

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