Obama congratulates Copts after pope’s election

US President Barack Obama has congratulated Egyptian Copts for the election of Bishop Tawadros as the 118th head of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

White House spokesperson Jay Carney said in a press statement late Sunday that the US shares Tawadros' commitment to unity, tolerance and interfaith dialogue.

Carney expressed hope for success for the new pope in leading the largest Christian sect in the Middle East. He added that Americans would continue to stand by Egyptians of all religions to achieve the goals of its revolution.

Bishop Tawadros of Beheira will assume his new position on 18 November as Pope Tawadros II.

Tawadros, 60, is close to the interim pope, Bishop Pachomius. He will succeed Pope Shenouda III, who died in March.

A blindfolded child picked a paper carrying Tawadros' name in a ceremony on Sunday. The two other candidates were Bishop Rafael of central Cairo and Bishop Rafael Ava Mina of St. Mina Monastery in Alexandria.

Edited translation from MENA

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