Egypt’s UN ambassador to visit ailing pope in US

On President Hosni Mubarak's orders, Egypt's UN ambassador Maged Abdel Fattah will pay a visit to Egypt's top Christian cleric at Cleveland Hospital in the US.

The head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Shenouda III, travelled to the USA on 8 January for a medical check-up. He is scheduled to return home on Monday.

Mubarak phoned the pope on Saturday to inquire about his health.

Sources at Shenouda's papal headquarters in Cairo revealed that periodic tests on the pope's health had positive results, indicating stability of his heart and kidneys. Medical reports also show the recovery of Shenouda's leg, on which surgery was performed in 2008.

The pope suffers chronic kidney problems and backaches, and travels regularly to the US for treatment.

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