15 November 2021

On Friday 12 November 2021, Egypt’s Ambassador to South Africa Ahmed El Fadly received His Beatitude Pope Theodore II, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa upon his arrival at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Pope Theodore II is visiting South Africa and Botswana during the period 12 to 26 November 2021 as part of a wider tour that includes a number of African countries.

Later on Friday, Ambassador El Fadly hosted a luncheon in honor of Pope Theodore II in Egypt’s Ambassadorial Residence in Pretoria which was attended by representatives of the Greek Orthodox Churches and the Coptic Church in South Africa, Ambassadors of the Orthodox countries accredited to South Africa, including the Ambassadors of Cyprus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Ukraine and Belarus, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Greek Embassy and the Consul of Greece in Johannesburg as well as a number of patriarchs, clergy and heads of the Greek and Cypriot Communities in South Africa.

Pope Theodore II has on several occasions praised the role of Egypt and its support to the Patriarchate in Egypt. His Beatitude emphasized that Egypt has always been and remains a welcoming and hospitable country to everyone. His Beatitude acknowledged the strong support that the Patriarchate receives from Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi whom Pope Theodore II described as an ‘enlightened president’.

During the luncheon, Ambassador El Fadly welcomed Pope Theodore II. “Pope Theodore II is an Egyptian-Greek religious authority present in Egypt; the cradle of civilizations and religions where a number of prophets and messengers resided.” El Fadly said. “Egypt is always proud of the presence of various religious statures in its land, led by His Eminence the Grand Imam Ahmed Al Tayyeb, Sheikh of Al Azhar Al Sharif, and His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark in Egypt” El Fadly added.

Ambassador El Fadly added that they are also honored by the presence of Pope Theodore II in Egypt given the historical ties with the Greek community, whose presence in Egypt was not limited to major cities, but also spread in smaller towns and villages across Egypt. “Pope Theodore II has strong ties with all Egyptian churches through the Council of Churches in Egypt.” El Fadly said. “Pope Theodore II also maintains good relations with the Egyptian State in general, given the importance that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi attaches to Christians in Egypt.”

During his visit to South Africa, Pope Theodore II, Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa for the Greek Orthodox will visit the Holy Diocese of Johannesburg and Pretoria, in addition to meeting members of the Cypriot brotherhood and the Greek community, and visiting a number of historical, tourist and religious monuments in South Africa.

By Ayman Walash, Counselor – Head of the Press & Information Office, Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Pretoria, South Africa

The Diplomatic Informer
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