Pope Francis to Visit Egypt in April


Mohamed el-Tayyib visited Pope Francis at the Vatican past year, and it's thought his invitation to Egypt spanned from their time together.

Vatican has confirmed Pope Francis will visit Egypt April 28-29, the Vatican said on Saturday, giving the pontiff another opportunity to promote better relations between Catholics and Muslims.

Pope Francis's visit will coincide with the 70th anniversary of the start of diplomatic relationships between Egypt and the Vatican. Sectarian violence often erupts due to various issues related to the faiths like the construction of new churches and interfaith discussions.

The Pope is expected to meet officials from Al-Azhar, the highest Sunni Islamic authority in Egypt, and the Coptic Orthodox Church.

That meeting unfroze relations between the two parties after Al-Azhar, a 1,000-year-old mosque and university center, cut contacts with the Vatican in 2011 due to the "repeated insults to Islam" by Pope Benedict.

He said Egypt hopes the visit will cement the "spirit of tolerance and dialogue" between followers of different faiths and further isolate extremism and terrorism. The visit also includes visiting the Catholic Church in Egypt.

President Sisi greatly appreciates Pope Francis, his moral stature and courage in addressing worldwide issues.

A bombing at Cairo's largest Coptic cathedral killed at least 25 people and wounded 49 in December.