Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has personally handed over letters of condolence from the families of British terror victims to the leader of the largest Christian minority (Bishop Tawadros) in the Middle East.
The two-day trip, described as a “visit of condolence”, follows the murders of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya. The migrant workers were kidnapped and beheaded by Islamic State (IS) militants in February.
“The essence of the visit is to show solidarity following the murder of the Coptic Christians. It is also reminding people of what has happened. The people he has met so far have been genuinely delighted that he has made this very brief visit here to pledge his support and stand by them.”
Welby also met the Grand Imam of Al Azhar (Ahmed el- Tayeb) to discuss the growing problem of extremism.
The archbishop has previously condemned the beheading of Mr Haines by IS militants in September as a “brutal, cruel murder” and an “act of absolute evil”.
Haines, a 44-year-old aid worker, was seized in Syria in 2013. He was being held by Islamic State militants who have killed other international captives including journalists.
A series of meeting with religious and political leaders has been lined up for the archbishop to personally show his “love and concern”.
Source: National, BBC News