Egypt's Al Azhar Institute , the top Islamic authority for Sunnis, said on Wednesday that it is aiming to strengthen ties with the new Pope, following Benedict XVI's resignation on Tuesday.
According to the BBC, Al Azhar is looking to "re-establish ties based on mutual respect and understanding", following a series of fall outs between the Islamic Institute and the Catholic church.
The statement marks the first response by the Institute to news that Pope Benedict has decided to resign . Benedict caused upset within the Muslim community after his comments in 2006 at the University of Regensburg.
At the lecture, he quoted Byzantine Emperor  Manuel II Palaiologos , saying: "Show me just what Muhammad  brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."