the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by the Press Secretary on the Passing of Sheikh Mohammed Sayyed Tantawi

“We express our deepest condolences on the passing of Egyptian cleric Sheikh Mohammed Sayyed Tantawi.  As the grand sheikh of Al-Azhar University, he was a voice for faith and tolerance who was widely respected in Muslim communities in Egypt and around the globe, and by many who seek to build a world grounded in mutual respect. Sheikh Tantawi graciously hosted President Obama last June in Cairo, and we remember well his hospitality. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and those who mourn him on this day.”