Egyptian Ambassador Meets with First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ
The Arab Republic of Egypt’s ambassador to the United States paid a visit to the world headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mrs. Hala Elhusseiny Youssef, His Excellency Motaz Zahran’s wife, was present at the event alongside her husband.
Ambassador Zahran and Mrs. Youssef visited with members of the First Presidency of the Church during their trip to Salt Lake City, Utah. These members of the First Presidency include President Russell M. Nelson, President Dallin H. Oaks, and President Henry B. Eyring. Dinner was served in honour of the prominent guests, and it was hosted by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“I have been to Egypt several times. Our interaction with Ambassador Motaz Zahran in Utah was a delightful opportunity to be together and further our ongoing relationship with leaders from that ancient and still influential nation,” Elder Bednar said.
Faith and family were the main topics of conversation, as priorities shared by both Latter-day Saints and Muslims.
“Over dinner, we were able to share with His Excellency the many shared values between Muslims and Latter-day Saints,” Middle East/Africa North Area President Anthony D. Perkins said. “We were also able to highlight a few of the many humanitarian projects the Church is undertaking in Egypt.”
“We want to be part of an advancement of faith in our country, the cradle of civilizations and religions,” the Ambassador said. “At the heart of our country and the core of our belief is the family. That has been part of our culture for many, many years. Egypt is at the heart of modern Islam. Egypt wants to be a model of problem-solving and now we are progressively addressing some of the problems that we have inherited from the past.”
The Ambassador came to Utah at the invitation of Brigham Young University to give a lecture at the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies. After a campus tour, he spoke to a large group of students about the expansion of civil rights in Egypt, including religious freedom. The Ambassador said that religious pluralism is a priority of the current government.
The Ambassador also visited the Bishop’s Central Storehouse, which is part of the Church’s network of facilities that support its humanitarian and emergency relief efforts around the world.