Pope Francis dispatches delegation to New Suez Canal inauguration ceremony
Pope Francis - AP
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CAIRO:  Pope Francis will dispatch a delegation to attend the inauguration ceremony of the New Suez Canal on, Egypt’s ambassador to the Holly See Wafaa Basim said Thursday.

The delegation will be chaired by Cardinal Dominique Mamberti of the Apostolic Signatura in the Roman Curia, Basim was quoted by MENA.

She added that Pope Francis has accepted President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s invitation to attend the opening ceremony via sending the delegation although Vatican City does not dispatch official delegations to participate in national celebrations.

On Nov. 25, 2014, President Sisi visited Vatican where he and Pope Francis agreed to resume religious dialogue between the Vatican and Al-Azhar, after a more than three-year hiatus.

Egypt has sent world leaders and Presidents invitations to attend the opening ceremony scheduled for August 6. France’s Elysee affirmed in a statement Thursday that President François Hollande will be “the guest of honor” in the ceremony.

Meanwhile, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel will chair a delegation to the canal inauguration, the German embassy in Cairo said in a statement Thursday.

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