Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, met on Friday, November 15th with Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, on the sidelines of his visit to the Vatican in the presence Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, according to UAE news agency WAM.
On Thursday, November 14th, Sheikh Saif attended the Joint Ecumenical Meeting on the theme “Promoting Digital Child Dignity – From Concept to Action” held in commemoration of the thirtieth anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. There he met some of the faith leaders and participants in the interfaith summit.
Sponsored by the UAE, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, and the Child Dignity Alliance, the event was held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Sheikh Saif stated that the late founder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, had established “the core values of interfaith tolerance and coexistence in the UAE,” adding that Sheikh Zayed’s 1951 visit to the Vatican started the process of building “common bridges among different cultures, religions, and civilisations, an approach echoed and followed by the wise leadership in its efforts to make the UAE a global beacon of tolerance."
In this regard, Sheikh Saif lambasted the worldwide sexual exploitation and abuse of children as a “great concern to the future of humanity,” describing it as “an unethical and harmful issue that goes against any religious and moral value system."
All religions are united in the condemnation of evil and the promotion of good deeds and respect for life, Sheikh Saif added.