By Arab News
Saudi Arabia’s Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman’s visit to Egypt would further enhance cooperation and coordination between the two countries and help in overcoming the dangers and challenges facing the Arab world, Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam said Sunday.
The grand mufti said the strong and positive relations between the two countries are capable of deterring terror and combating the challenges in the region.
“This cooperation with Saudi Arabia is a result of historic brotherly relations between the two countries,” he said, adding that the good relations have led to the signing of religious agreements. A deal was signed between the Egyptian and Saudi Ifta organizations to release fatwas.
Saudi Arabia has been continuously providing financial and logistics support to the Cairo-based Al-Azhar University, one of the foremost Sunni Islamic academic institutions in the world.
Founded in 970, it is one of the oldest universities in the world and the center of Islamic learning. Besides Egyptian students, it hosts hundreds of foreign students from around the world. Many of them occupy eminent positions in their country, including presidential rank.
In 2004, Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Charity Foundation donated 10 million pounds to the university’s faculty of medicine.
This year, the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) allocated $31 million to set up a medical college affiliated to Al-Azhar and provide the necessary equipment. The news was confirmed by International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr.
This came in the framework of the efforts undertaken by the Ministry of International Cooperation to support various public universities in Egypt.
The university presented an honorary doctorate to the late King Abdullah in appreciation of his support for the country and service to Islam.
The importance the Saudi leadership accords to Al-Azhar University was apparent when King Salman laid the foundation stone of the Beouth Islamic City, which includes a dormitory for up to 30,000 students, on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Council of Pakistani Scholars (CPS) said in Islamabad that King Salman’s visit to Al-Azhar University and laying the foundation for the Islamic city is a proof of his sincere care for Islam and Muslims.
Tahir Al-Ashrafi, head of the CPS, said the visit also denotes his keen desire for unification of Islamic ranks and rejection of discrimination and racism.
He termed the king’s visit as a blessed step that will be added to his wise decisions to unite the Islamic world.