President Mohamed Morsi has met with Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb and Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church Tawadros II on Tuesday night.
The meeting was held to discuss developments across the country and challenges in ending the country’s current political and economic transition.
Morsi said during the meeting that Al-Azhar and the Church hold national and historical roles in maintaining the security, stability, freedom and dignity of the people.
The president also spoke of the need to mobilise the country’s social and economic potential to encourage development and address root causes of the problems inherited from the previous regime.
Ahead of the meeting, Pope Tawadros II said in a televised interview that the meeting will be “a meeting for Egypt”. He said he plans to tell Morsi to “do what unites the nation”.
The Church leader said the meeting was unrelated to planned protests on 30 June.
“The current stage does not allow for anything except talking about Egypt’s peace,” Pope Tawadros II said.
One day before the meeting with Morsi, the Coptic pope had said in another televised interview that he was disappointed in the past year, saying the election of Morsi came with hope of a democratic outcome.
In a Wednesday statement by Al-Tayeb published by state-run Ahram, the grand imam said peaceful opposition against the presidency is permissible according to Islamic Shari’a.
The statement was made in response to labelling people who plan to protest against Morsi as “infidels”. Al-Tayeb said this is the opinion of people who have “deviated from the correct path of Islam”.
The petition campaign Tamarod is coordinating with opposition groups to stage protests against Morsi on 30 June, the first anniversary of the president’s election to office. The protests plan to also call for early presidential elections.