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Portugal's pres. calls for combating "Islamophobia", avoiding conflicts

CAIRO, April 12 (KUNA) -- Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on Thursday demanded necessarily combating "Islamophobia" and all barriers impeding interfaith dialogue.
This came during a speech delivered by de Sousa at Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, in the presence of Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayyeb.
De Sousa called for working for the sake of peace in the Middle East and Near East, and the whole world, and avoiding conflicts, wars, sectarian sedition, economic restrictions and violence. He requested the achievement of peace and love, and the creation of social and economic conditions rejecting extremism, which - as he said - is growing in several European countries and areas.
Al-Tayyeb's visit to Portugal was an important incident to the Portuguese society, he said, lauding efforts by Al-Tayyeb aiming to spread Islam all over the world and hold interfaith dialogue. De Sousa expressed his readiness to cooperate with Al-Azhar so as to maintain the culture of societal co-existence and stability, and boost cultural exchange between Al-Azhar and the Portuguese universities in all domains.
He said Egypt has a leading role in the Middle East region and the whole world, stressing that it is has distinguished relations and a presence in Africa, Europe Asia and the United States.
Al-Tayyeb, meanwhile, voiced Al-Azhar's readiness to boost bilateral cooperation through granting scholarships for Portuguese Muslims to study at Al-Azhar University. (end) aff.tb.hm