Egypt's candidates, politicians react to Shenouda death
Egypt’s main political forces, presidential hopefuls and religious figures expressed sorrow and offered condolences over the death of Pope Shenouda III who passed away on Saturday at the age of 89.
Egypt’s Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb in a lengthy statement expressed his sympathy with the Christian community over the death of Pope Shenouda, saying that he was a respected national figure. Al-Tayeb said that Al-Azhar “greatly remembers his vision towards Jerusalem and its history.”
The Freedom and Justice Party also issued a statement signed by Mohamed Morsi, the chairman of the party, in which the party commemorated Pope Shenouda, whose life, the statement said, was “a long journey of big contribution in various fields domestically and abroad.”
Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri said in a statement “I give my sincere condolences to the Coptic brothers home and abroad.” The statement said that Pope Shenouda was a “national character and a symbol for patriotism and he gained wide respect and appreciation from the Egyptian people.”
Former Prime Minister Essam Sharaf remembered Shenouda as a “devout clergyman, a good citizen and a valuable leader."
"His memory will remain in our hearts. His vision was always that Egypt is not the country that we live in; but the country that lives in us,” Sharaf said.
Presidential Hopeful Ahmed Shafiq also issued a statement, saying that Egypt has lost a “unique religious leader and a distinguished character in the national history.” He added that he trusts that the “Coptic church will pass this hard moment because of the great legacy of Pope Shenouda.”
Presidential hopeful Amr Moussa called Pope Shenouda “a great man who was working for the interests of the country. He was working for Egypt to stand as a unified front against the challenges facing the nation.”
As for Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, candidate for the presidency, his campaign said that that Fotouh had spoken with Bishop Moussa, the Orthodox Church's bishop of the youth. In his call, his campagin said, he expressed his sincere condolences to the Coptic Church and Copts in Egypt and abroad.
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