"The Grand Imam and Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Dr. Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi was for many years a valued partner in the dialogue between Muslims and Catholics."”
This was how the Pope Benedict XVI recalled the Grand Imam and Sheikh of Al-Azhar, who passed away at the age of 81, in his message sent to Sheikh Muhammad Abd al-Aziz Wasil, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone. The Holy Father expressed his condolences to the community of Al-Azhar and the Tantawi family, recalling the impulse which the late Sheikh gave to the meetings between the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Permanent Committee of Al-Azhar for Dialogue.
See Cardinal Bertone's message here.