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Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew to accompany pope to Cairo

On 28-29 Apr trip

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew to accompany pope to Cairo

Vatican City, April 20 - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of the Orthodox world, is expected to join Pope Francis on his upcoming trip to Cairo alongside the Coptic Pope Tawadros II, Vatican Radio reported Thursday. In a week's time Francis travels to Cairo where he will visit the prestigious al-Azhar centre of Islamic studies. Both the pontiff and Patriarch Bartholomew have been invited by the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb to attend an international peace conference there. During the brief April 28-29 visit, the pope will meet with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, as well as celebrating Mass for the local Catholic community. His visit comes less than a month after two bomb attacks on Coptic churches in Egypt by so-called Islamic State militants left 45 people dead and dozens of others injured.

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