CAIRO: A high-level delegation of Ethiopian clergymen headed by the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Abune Mathias I, is scheduled to arrive Saturday in Cairo for a 6-day visit, Youm7 reported Tuesday.
The visit, the first for Mathias I since he took office in 2013, comes according to an invitation from Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and Patriarch of St. Mark Diocese. It comes in light of Coptic Christmas celebrations starting Wednesday Jan. 07.
“Mathias is scheduled to have an official reception Saturday at the Cathedral of St. Mark in Abbassiya, and to attend the Pope Tawadros II’s annual meeting Jan. 14,” Bishop Beyman of the Diocese of Naqada and Qus, coordinator of relations between Coptic Church and Ethiopian Church was quoted as saying by Youm7.
He stressed that the relationship between the two Churches plays an important role in consolidating relations between the two countries and that it aims at emphasizing the depth of historical ties between Egypt and Ethiopia.
The visit coincides with ongoing negotiations on the Grand Renaissance Dam which has caused tension in the relations between Egypt and Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church was judicially related to the Coptic Patriarchate of Alexandria in until 1959 before it was considered as autocephalous Church by the Coptic Patriarch Cyril VI, Islamic and Coptic history professor Fathy Khourshid told The Cairo Post Tuesday.