UAE: Sheikh Nahyan meets Pope Francis, Grand Imam of Al Azhar

Wam
Wam
Wam
Wam

Abu Dhabi - Both religious leaders hailed the UAE's significant role to establish the principles of peace, tolerance and coexistence.



By Wam

Published: Sat 9 Oct 2021, 8:25 PM

Last updated: Sat 9 Oct 2021, 8:26 PM

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, has met with His Eminence Dr. Ahmed El Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, and Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, on the sidelines of international meeting organised by the Sant'Egidio Foundation for Peace and Dialogue in Rome, Italy.

Both religious leaders hailed the UAE's significant role under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to establish the principles of peace, tolerance, coexistence, dialogue and human solidarity among human beings worldwide, to enhance the principles and values of the historical Human Fraternal Document that took place in Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Nahyan conveyed the greetings of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and his best wishes to Dr. El Tayeb, Pope Francis and the audience.

"It gives me great pleasure to convey to you the greetings and best wishes of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. I also relay to you the greetings and best wishes of all your friends and colleagues in the UAE. We are proud of the friendly, and peaceful relations between our country and all peoples of the world. Together, as brothers and sisters in humanity, we seek to build bridges of understanding, coexistence, and brotherhood. We are delighted to participate in this important conference that brings together religious leaders, scholars, clerics, and intellectuals for dialogue and joint action to benefit the world," Sheikh Nahyan said.

"As I stand before you today, I am reminded of a verse in the Holy Qura’an that says, in translation: "Had God willed, He could have made you a single community but to test you in what He revealed to you. So, vie with one another in virtue and good work.

"No nation, no society, no community will peacefully convert everyone to a single religious belief. And no great country or society would attempt it. The best we can do is to vie with one another in virtue and good work. We do well when we work together across all lines of difference for the benefit of humanity. We do well when we strengthen human contact, engage in constructive dialogue and cooperation, and do all we can to preserve human dignity. We do well together when we go forward with determination to see that all people have a positive future to look forward to as members of one human family.

"These values and principles are at the core of my country’s vision for its present and its future. Our Founding President, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a man of wisdom and foresight, clearly exemplified these values and principles throughout his life. His successors, the current leaders of our country, continue to guide the UAE with these values and principles.

"You will find in my country a unique and successful model of peaceful and productive co-existence among people of diverse religions, cultures, nationalities, and backgrounds. And, as a testimony to our commitment to tolerance, we have created the world’s first and only Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence, of which I am proud to be the minister.

"This noble quest for human fraternity was on the minds of His Holiness, the Pope, and His Eminence, the Sheikh of Al Azhar, when they issued the Abu Dhabi Declaration on Human Fraternity in 2019. This historic document reaffirms the importance of creating a truly "Human Fraternity," a global society where all live and work together as brothers and sisters in harmony, peace, and goodwill. We thank His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence Dr. el-Tayeb, for giving the world this vital document that is a celebration of human unity and the human quest for a better, more peaceful, and prosperous world.

"Furthermore, I hope that you will be resolute in identifying strategies that will lead to governments and individuals adopting and practising the elements of tolerance and religious freedom welcoming diversity and heterogeneity, practising inclusion, exhibiting honest curiosity about and respect for those unlike us. When this happens, we will truly have a Global Human Fraternity," Sheikh Nahyan said in conclusion.

Omar Obaid Al Shamsi, UAE Ambassador to Italy, attended the meeting.


More news from UAE