The Grand Imam referred to the Pope's efforts to strengthen love and friendship between the Muslim and Christian peoples, saying he was a unique religious figure.
We had a friendly relationship with him through the Muslim-Christian dialogue we had when he visited Al-Azhar in 2001, he added.
Al-Azhar's permanent committee for dialogue among religions mourned Pope John Paul II as a noble man who promoted dialogue between Al-Azhar and the Vatican.
This dialogue was launched with the signing of a historic agreement for religious dialogue between Al Azhar and the Vatican in May 1998, Committee Chairman Sheikh Fawzi El Zefzaf said yesterday.
The committee will never forget that the Pope stood by the side of the weak, and supported the right of nations to freedom and to self-determination, he added.
Meantime, The Efta House (Mufti of Egypt) on Monday issued a statement expressing sorrow over the death of Pope John Paul II of the Vatican.
It said "The world has lost a great man who had always fought to make it a more safe, peaceful and stable place."
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