Barroso and Ashton pay tribute to late Coptic leader

EU leaders have offered their condolences to Egypt’s Coptic community following the death of Pope Shenouda III, the Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, urging Egyptian leaders to follow his legacy of religious dialogue and harmony.
In a statement issued in Brussels yesterday, European Commission President José Manuel Barrosos said he was deeply saddened by the news, describing Pope Shenouda as a respected national and religious leader who always strived for freedom of religion and belief. “The best tribute Egypt could pay to his memory would be to fully protect these rights and preserve national unity,” he said.
In a separate statement, High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton expressed her deepest condolences, paying tribute to the Coptic religious leader: “Pope Shenouda III was a respected and visionary leader of the region's largest Christian community, who advocated tolerance, religious dialogue and harmony… The High Representative joins the calls by the main political and religious leaders in Egypt and elsewhere to follow the Pope’s commitment to national unity, reconciliation and freedom of belief.” (ENPI Info Centre)
Read more
Barroso statement
Ashton statement
ENPI Info Centre webpage – Egypt

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