The head of the Egyptian Coptic Church, Pope Shenouda III, urged all Arab countries on Sunday to unite in order to combat Israel’s policy of aggression, reported the Daily Star newspaper.
Shenouda is in Lebanon at the invitation of the Armenian Orthodox Church, which this weekend commemorates 1,700 years since Christianity was taken as that state’s official religion.
Shenouda said Arab unity is vital for facing Israel, as the Jewish state “depends on any Arab division, or any kind of weakness, more than its own weapons to fight us,” the paper quoted him as saying.
“Israel’s aggressive policy has no limits,” Shenouda said. “Their greed and expectations are very high.”
Asked if he had discussed any of the country’s domestic issues with Lebanese religious officials, Shenouda refused to comment, saying: “No foreign personality outside your country should judge your internal relationships.”
However, he said countries “like Lebanon and Syria” should solve their differences, as problems between them can only benefit Israel. He also said he was aware of the special nature of the relationship between Beirut and Damascus.
“All I want to say is that I hope your problems are solved,” he said, “especially since there is a common enemy.”
Talking about the Copts’ relationship with Muslims in Egypt, the paper said that Shenouda was careful to differentiate between moderates and “extremists.”
“In Egypt, we have a strong brotherhood with moderate Muslims and we work together for the good of the country,” he said.
“The extremists, however, are against the moderate Muslims and the government, too.” – Albawaba.com