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Pope Francis meets top Muslim Leader in Vatican

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Vatican: On 23rd May, 2016, Pope Francis, global head of the Catholic Church, met the grand imam of Egypt’s highest Islamic authority, Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed al-Tayeb, at the Vatican. Since becoming Pope in 2013, Pope Francis has put great emphasis on improving interfaith relations. “The message is the meeting,” the pope told reporters. The historic meeting was sealed with a hugely symbolic hug and exchange of kisses. In a subsequent statement, the Vatican said the two men had discussed the problems of violence and terrorism, and the situation of Christians in the Middle East, including how best to protect them. Pope Francis last year urged an end to what he called a genocide against Christians in the Middle East, but he has also said it is wrong to equate Islam with violence.