High Level Meeting Between Al Azhar Imam And UN Secretary General Addressed Gaza Crisis

Manar Eissa

The Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Sheikh of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, met with António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, on Sunday at the Al-Azhar Sheikh, accompanied by Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), and Elena Panova, Resident Coordinator to the United Nations in Egypt. The two parties discussed the latest situation in Gaza.

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Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam appreciated the UN Secretary-General’s fair stances, stating, “you represent a glimmer of hope for protecting the oppressed people in Gaza.” He also praised UNRWA’s role in supporting the Palestinian people.

“The world is moving in the wrong direction without moral controls; if this situation continues, we will see an unprecedented spread of crime, hatred, and acts of violence,” warned the Grand Imam, cautioning against the spillover of this conflict to Western countries and the US. “We all must unite and stand in solidarity to stop the bloodbath of innocent people,” he continued.

Al-Azhar’s Concerns and Calls for Action

The Grand Imam expressed concern that the unfolding situation in Gaza jeopardizes communication endeavors and initiatives aimed at bridging the gap between the East and the West, criticizing the international community’s reactions to the aggression on Gaza as frustrating and disappointing.

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The UN Chief commended Al Azhar’s role as a strong voice defending and supporting the Palestinian people, besides pressuring the international community to respect the rights of Palestinians.

“I do not remember a more dangerous era than the one we are living in now,” said Guterres, adding that he visited the Rafah crossing on Saturday to send a message of the need to stop the Israeli aggression and for the international community to carry out its duties through decisions and not just words.

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