President of Indonesia Receives Grand Imam of Al-Azhar at Presidential Palace in Jakarta

President of Indonesia: The Grand Imam’s Visit to Indonesia is Inspiring for the Indonesian People, and Al-Azhar is the Primary Reference for Indonesian Muslims

President of Indonesia Praises Al-Azhar and the Muslim Council of Elders' Efforts in Promoting Fraternity and Expresses His Joy at the Establishment of the Council's Regional Office in Indonesia

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Commends the Indonesian President's Efforts in Serving His Nation and Presenting Indonesia as a Model of Progress and Development

President Joko Widodo of Indonesia welcomed His Eminence Prof. Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta to discuss ways to enhance mutual cooperation. President Widodo expressed his delight at the Grand Imam’s visit to Indonesia, highlighting its significance for the Indonesian people who hold great love and respect for him. Al-Azhar is the primary reference for Indonesian Muslims in religious and Arabic sciences, and the President emphasized Indonesia’s intention to increase - and even double - the number of Indonesian students studying at Al-Azhar, as they play a crucial role in safeguarding the country and its youth from extremist ideologies.

President Widodo also expressed Indonesia’s desire to strengthen its relationship with Al-Azhar, particularly in training imams and preachers at the Al-Azhar International Academy and enhancing cooperation between Al-Azhar's Observatory for Combating Extremism and Indonesian centers working in the same field. He mentioned the potential for cooperation agreements between Al-Azhar University and Indonesian universities and research centers for the exchange of scholars, professors, researchers, and students. He praised the efforts of the Muslim Council of Elders in promoting global values of fraternity and peace and expressed his happiness over the opening of a regional office of the Council in Indonesia, believing it to be an excellent platform to serve Muslims in Southeast Asia.

The President of Indonesia thanked the Grand Imam for hosting the Indonesian Scholars Cadre Program delegations at Al-Azhar, which aims to create a young cadre of distinguished researchers in religious and Arabic sciences, forming the nucleus of future scholars. He welcomed Al-Azhar's announcement of its international program for promoting the Arabic language and Indonesia's desire to establish several Al-Azhar centers for Arabic language teaching across various Indonesian provinces.

The Indonesian President emphasized that Indonesia closely follows the Grand Imam’s positions in supporting the issues of the Islamic world, especially his honorable stance in supporting Gaza and rejecting aggression against innocent civilians. He praised Egypt’s role in facilitating the entry of humanitarian aid to Gaza since the onset of aggression, aligning with Indonesia's stance. Indonesia quickly expressed solidarity with Al-Azhar’s position by participating in the humanitarian and relief convoys organized by Al-Azhar to the besieged Gaza Strip, maintaining full coordination with Al-Azhar on international pressure to save women, children, and innocents in Gaza.

For his part, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar expressed his happiness visiting Indonesia and his gratitude for the great love and appreciation shown for Al-Azhar in Indonesia. His Eminence noted that this is his third visit to Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation by population, and expressed his appreciation for President Widodo’s efforts in serving his country during his two consecutive presidential terms, leading Indonesia to present a distinguished model of progress and development emulated by other Islamic countries. He confirmed that the relationship between Indonesia and Al-Azhar is historical, with international students playing a significant role in strengthening this relationship. Likewise, the number of Indonesian students at Al-Azhar exceeds 14,000, and they are distinguished by their dedication to exemplifying ethics and values.

The Grand Imam also emphasized Al-Azhar’s commitment to meeting Indonesia's needs by increasing the number of students studying at Al-Azhar, intensifying training courses for Indonesian imams and preachers at Al-Azhar, establishing centers for teaching the Arabic language in Indonesia, and opening avenues of cooperation with Indonesian universities and research centers to qualify Indonesian youth, especially in the fields of preaching and religious education.

The Grand Imam further underscored the necessity of mobilizing international efforts to halt the aggression on Gaza and the importance of Arab and Islamic solidarity, advocating for a unified and impactful stance to stop the daily bloodshed in Gaza. He expressed his appreciation for Indonesia's stance in supporting Gaza by intensifying humanitarian and relief convoys to the besieged area in collaboration with Al-Azhar.

At the meeting's conclusion, the Grand Imam presented the Indonesian President with the Al-Azhar Shield and the Muslim Council of Elders’ Medal celebrating the Council's tenth anniversary.



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