London- Pope Francis on Wednesday met with the Muslim World League’s Chief Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, the Vatican said in a statement, without elaborating on the content of the meeting.
The Muslim world appreciates Pope Francis’ stance on false claims linking Islam to extremism and violence, Al-Issa told the pope.
The two men exchanged views on a number of topics of mutual concern, notably cooperation between the Vatican and the Islamic world on issues concerning peace and coexistence.
Pope Francis had formerly said that violence is not directly related to Islam, and that no religion is free from having extremist followers.
After their meeting, the pope and Al-Issa exchanged gifts.
The MWL chief gave the pope a religious symbol representing Islamic civilization and its communication with other civilizations.
Pope Francis gave Al-Issa a memorial pen marking the 500th anniversary of St. Peter’s Basilica in 2006, and a medal commemorating his fifth year as head of the Roman Catholic Church.
During his visit, the MWL chief will meet senior figures from the Vatican administration and leading Italian officials, and will attend a number of religious and cultural functions in Rome.
The Saudi Arabian government-supported NGO, MWL, was founded in 1962 to propagate Islam and to improve worldwide understanding of the religion.
Headquartered in the Saudi city of Mecca, the MWL in its mission statement says it rejects violence and fosters “dialogue with people of other cultures.”