Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi has extended to Pope Francis an official invitation to visit Egypt.
According to Fides, news of the invitation was announced by Wafaa Ashraf Moharram Bassim, the Egyptian ambassador to the Holy See, in an interview published by Al-Ahram.
In the interview, Bassim highlighted the importance of the Holy Father’s role in the international community with regards to the current situation in the Middle East. She also stated that “the offices of the government have initiated a formal invitation with the signature of President al Sisi to ask the Pope to make an official visit to Egypt.”
An invitation was already extended to the Pope by Patriarch Tawadros II, primate of the Orthodox Coptic Church.
Regarding the date of a possible visit, Bassim said that although it is highly unlikely to take place in 2015, “both parties wish the visit takes place very soon.”
While there is no confirmation, Christians in Egypt expressed their joy at a possible visit.
“There is no official confirmation on what newspapers publish but certainly a visit of Peter’s successor in Egypt, in this historic moment, would be great comfort and encouragement also for all Christians in the region,” Coptic Catholic Bishop Anba Antonios Aziz Mina of Guizeh told Fides. (J.A.E.)