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UN Security Council invites Pope Francis, Al-Azhar imam for joint speech

In a first, the world’s two most prominent religious leaders are expected to deliver a joint speech on peace at the UN Security Council at a time when wars and conflicts are raging across the world.
Pope Francis (L) poses for a picture with the Grand Imam of al-Azhar mosque Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb during their meeting at the Papal residence near the Sakhir Royal Palace, in the eponymous Bahraini city on Nov. 4, 2022.

CAIRO — The head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, have received an official invitation from the United Nations Security Council to each deliver a historic speech during its meeting in June in New York, Al-Monitor has learned.

An Egyptian clerical source told Al-Monitor that the ‎speeches of the prominent religious leaders will be delivered before a high-level session of the council dubbed, “The ‎Importance of Human Fraternity Values in Promoting and ‎Sustaining Peace,” due in mid-June at the UN’s headquarters.‎

"The United Arab Emirates [which will be holding the Security Council’s presidency] will highlight pressing and urgent humanitarian issues and try to take serious steps toward establishing security and ending conflicts around the world,” the invitation states.

The two religious leaders will confirm their attendance this month, the source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity.

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