During her visit to Egypt, Shaykh al-Azhar Dr Ahmad al-Tayyeb hosts the German Chancellor at the Al-Azhar HQ in Cairo, Egypt.
On Thursday 2 March 2017, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, visited the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral as well as Al-Azhar in Cairo as part of her official two-day visit to Egypt, her first since 2007. At the Cathedral, Chancellor Merkel was received by Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church. After the visit to the cathedral, Chancellor Merkel made her first official visit to Al-Azhar – the world’s highest seat of Islamic learning – where she met with the Grand Imam, Dr Ahmad al-Tayyeb Shaykh al-Azhar. Both discussed the role of Al-Azhar in standing against radicalisation and Islamophobia, as well as the state of Muslims abroad, especially in Europe.
Chancellor Merkel said that she is looking forward to cooperating with Al-Azhar in the near and distant future in countering terrorism and promoting the true image of Islam. During the meeting, she further said: “Al-Azhar has an important voice in the world that should be carefully taken into consideration by all.”
For his part, Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyeb praised the supportive stance adopted by Chancellor Merkel on refugees who are fleeing conflict in the Middle East. He underlined the strong relations between Egypt and Germany.