Vatican City, Jun 6, 2010 / 05:10 am
On Saturday afternoon in Nicosia, Benedict XVI met with Sheikh Mehmet Nazim Adil Al-Haquani, an 89-year-old Cypriot Muslim leader active in inter-religious dialogue.
Sheikh Al-Haquani traveled from northern Cyprus specifically to greet the Holy Father. Fr.Federico Lombardi from the Vatican press office noted that the sheikh had excused himself for awaiting the Pope seated. "I am very old", he said.
The Pope replied, "I am old too."
Sheikh Al-Haquani presented the Pope with a cane, a plaque with the word "peace" written in Arabic and a Muslim rosary. For his part, the Pope gave him a medal of his pontificate. The two men then exchanged an embrace. Before separating, the sheikh asked the Pope to pray for him, to which he replied, "Of course I will, we will pray for one another."