The Grand Imam was accompanied by an important delegation, including: Professor Abbas Shouman, Under-secretary of Al-Azhar; Professor Mahmaoud Hamdi Zakrouk, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars of the University of Al-Azhar and Director of the Al-Azhar Centre for Dialogue; Judge Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Salam, Councillor to the Grand Imam; Professor Mohie Afifi Afifi Ahmed, Secretary General of the Academy for Islamic Research; Ambassador Mahmoud Abdel Gawad, Diplomatic Councillor to the Grand Imam; Mister Tamer Tawfik, Councillor; and Mister Ahmad Alshourbagy, Second Secretary. The delegation was accompanied by the Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the Holy See, His Excellency, Hatem Seif Elnasr.
The Grand Imam was welcomed and accompanied to his meeting with the Holy Father by the President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, and by the Secretary of that same dicastery, His Excellency, Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot.
The dialogue, which was very cordial, lasted for 30 minutes. The two authoritative interlocutors pointed out the great significance of this new encounter in the framework of dialogue between the Catholic Church and Islam. They then focused mainly on the common commitment of authorities and the faithful of the great religions toward peace in the world, the rejection of violence and terrorism, the current situation of Christians in the context of conflicts and tensions in the Middle East and their protection.
The Pope presented the Grand Imam with the Olive Medallion of Peace and a copy of his Encyclical Letter Laudato Si'.
Following the audience with the Holy Father, before leaving the Apostolic Palace, in another room within the Audience Hall, the Grand Imam, with his delegation, met once again briefly with Cardinal Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, accompanied by His Excellency, Ayuso Guixot, Secretary of the dicastery and their delegation.
The Grand Imam left the Apostolic Palace shortly before 1:00pm.