Al-Azhar Grand Imam welcomes Somali PM in Cairo, receive an invitation to visit Mogadishu

Al-Azhar will spare no effort to support Somalis by all means possible for the security, unity and stability of the sisterly Arab, African nation, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed el Tayyeb said Tuesday.

Tayyeb made the remarks during a meeting with an official Somalian delegation led by Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble at Al-Azhar in Cairo.

Welcoming the Somalian delegation, the grand imam hailed the outstanding performance of the Somali students studying at Al-Azhar institutions.

He noted that as many as 873 Somali students are currently enrolled at Al-Azhar faculties, promising to increase the number of scholarships offered to Somalia.

He also decided to dispatch a relief convoy to Somalia with a team of specialists to study the public health map before sending a medical and a preaching convoy.

In addition, Al-Azhar Academy for Training Imams, Preachers and Fatwa Researchers offers training opportunities for Somalia’s imams to help them to combat extremist ideologies and dispel religious misconceptions, Tayyeb said.

Meanwhile, the Somalia’s premier voiced pleasure at meeting the grand imam, commending the active role played by Al-Azhar in Somalia, even before Somalia’s Independence in 1960.

He invited the grand imam to visit Somalia, lauding the role of Al-Azhar as a beacon of moderate Islam.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Tuesday conferred with Somali Prime Minister on bilateral ties and issues of common interest, according to Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Hafez.

Meanwhile, Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abul Gheit met with Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, who is currently on a visit to Egypt.

The meeting took up the latest developments in Somalia and efforts exerted by the government there to maintain security and stability, a source at the AL general secretariat said.

They also discussed ways to settle some pending financial problems in order to expedite the legislative elections in the African country before holding the presidential polls in October, the source added.

Abdi Aziz Hassan Ibrahim is , a somali veteran journalist based in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Twitter @mareegonline Email: news@mareeg.com