Pope Francis embraces Al-Azhar's Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb during a meeting at Cairo, Egypt April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
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Pope Francis flies to Egypt Friday for a visit aimed at fostering reconciliation with the Muslim world against the backdrop of recent extremist attacks on the Middle East's biggest Christian community.The now-retired German pontiff's 2011 comments condemning an attack on a Coptic church compounded the chill, with Al-Azhar denouncing Benedict for meddling in Egypt's affairs.The two men are due to walk together to the Coptic church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the heart of Cairo, which was hit by a bomb attack in December claimed by ISIS that killed 29 people.Egypt's Copts, who make up about 10 percent of the country's population of 92 million, are the Middle East's largest Christian minority and one of the oldest.
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