By Kanzy Mahmoud
Al-Azhar welcomes meeting with all political forces and fully supports national reconciliation, the Islamic institution said Tuesday.
The statement came as Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb met Tuesday with Al-Nour Party representatives Younes Makhyoun and Bassam El-Zaraa as well as 30 June Front representatives to discuss Al-Azhar’s role in “the upcoming period, including national reconciliation talks.”
Al-Tayeb said he listened to Al-Nour Party representatives’ insights on current events in Egypt and had appreciated the youth’s proposals with regards to national reconciliation talks, which Al-Tayeb insisted include “all political forces and movements.”
The statement added that the youth were very keen on preserving Al-Azhar’s independence and asked them to “maximise their role in disseminating moderate thought,” while Al-Tayeb expressed Al-Azhar’s willingness to put forth its best efforts to help achieve reconciliation.
With regards to the 30 June protests which led to the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, Al-Azhar denied Al-Youm Al-Sabaa’s claim that Al-Tayeb had called the ouster “a coup” or that he had invited young members of Islamist coalitions to Tuesday’s meetings.
“However, Al-Azhar always welcomes meeting with all forces and currents,” read the statement, adding that they called on all media and political forces to distance Al-Azhar from political exploitation.
Al-Azhar released another statement saying they “fully support the all inclusive national reconciliation initiative” taking place Wednesday, where interim president Adly Mansour, Al-Tayeb, Pope Tawadros II and certain political factions and movements will meet to discuss the roadmap, reported Aswat Masriya.
Al-Tayeb had previously announced holding a national reconciliation initiative after Morsi’s ouster on 3 July and said in a statement on 8 July that he would go into religious seclusion if the bloodshed did not stop.