AFRICA/EGYPT - New President al-Sisi enhances the role of the Coptic Church in the past and present of the nation

Monday, 9 June 2014

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - On the day of his oath as the new President of Egypt, former General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi paid tribute with demanding words with regards to the role carried out by the Coptic Church in the past and present of the big Arab Country. In his speech to the nation, delivered on Sunday evening, June 8 at the el-Quba Palace - that will probably become the new presidential residence - al-Sisi dedicated an important passage to Christians: "The New President" says to Fides Agency Anba Antonios Aziz Mina, Coptic Catholic Bishop of Guizeh, "said that the Church has played an important role in Egypt's history and has made undeniable contributions to safeguard national unity, facing those who fomented conflicts among the Egyptian people. "The President" adds Anba Antonios, "also said that the Church, together with the Sunni University of al-Azhar, can give a valuable contribution to free religious speech from the exploitation it has suffered in recent years".
On Sunday morning, June 8, Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II and the Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayyeb, were invited among the highest authorities of the Country to the new President’s swearing-in ceremony, which took place in the palace of the Constitutional Court.
In speeches which took place throughout the day, President al-Sisi rejected any possibility of reconciliation with the forces that have carried out violent acts – with clear reference to the Muslim Brotherhood - and warmly thanked the foreign delegations attending the commencement ceremonies of his presidency - from that of Saudi Arabia - for having supported Egypt in the convulsions of recent times. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 09/06/2014)