CAIRO: French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian paid a visit Tuesday to the Coptic Cathedral to mourn the 21 Egyptian Copts who were killed in Libya by militants affiliated with the IS group Sunday, Youm7 reported.
Le Drian, currently in Cairo to sign a deal on the sale of 24 Rafale fighter jets, and the accompanying delegation offered their condolences to the Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II who is to lead mass in the Coptic Cathedral in Cairo’s district of Abasseya at noon.
“On behalf of the French people, I express my deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to Egypt and the Egyptian people on the death of the Egyptian nationals who were killed in Libya. We are deeply saddened by the loss of your victims and the abhorrent killings committed in the name of the terrorist group in Libya,” said Le Drian.
Tawadross II has mandated a number of bishops to lead simultaneous memorial services to mourn the victims in the churches of Upper Egypt’s governorate of Minya; the home town of the victims. He also has sent a delegation consisting of four bishops to attend the funeral, according to an official statement issued by the spokesperson to the church.
A delegation from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has also traveled to Minya to extend condolences to the families of the victims.
The killing of the 21 Egyptians in Libya was condemned by several politicians and clerics including Pope Francis, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende and senior Iranian cleric Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi.