CAIRO, Oct 23 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the issue involving 60 students from Pahang who were unable to continue their studies at Al-Azhar University has been successfully resolved after discussions with Sheikh of Al-Azhar Prof Dr Ahmed el-Tayeb.

Anwar, who paid a courtesy call to  Ahmed at Al-Azhar, said the problem occurred because the 60 students arrived to study at the university without following the required procedures, which led to them becoming ‘stranded’ in Egypt.

“The standard procedure for admission to Al-Azhar University involves going through the embassy channels. However, this procedure was not followed, and as a result, these 60 students found themselves in a difficult situation.

“However, I appealed their case, and Sheikh Al-Azhar agreed to have the issue surrounding these 60 Pahang students taken care of as soon as possible. The university’s rector also provided assurance.

“But I also gave my assurance to them (Sheikh Al-Azhar) that this won’t happen again, Insya Allah. I hope all states will adhere to the existing regulations since these requirements are set by the Egyptian government and Al-Azhar University,” he said.

He told this to Malaysian journalists at a media conference at the end of his two-day working visit to Egypt today. Also present were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and Malaysia’s Ambassador to Egypt Zamani Ismail.

Earlier, Anwar paid a courtesy call to the Sheikh of Al-Azhar and he was welcomed at Al-Azhar by the Deputy Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Prof Dr Muhammad Abdur-Rahman Al-Duwini.

Meanwhile, Anwar said Sheikh Al-Azhar has agreed to make an official visit to Malaysia in the first quarter of next year.

“We will use his visit by organising a regional Islamic conference so that we can benefit from his presence and ideas,” he said.

According to Anwar, Malaysia, together with Al-Azhar, will take the initiative to organise the conference and will assign the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) to coordinate it.


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