Pope Francis welcomed the Secretary General for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to the Vatican's Apostolic Palace. Every year, the organization releases a so called 'Islamophobia' report which shows the discrimination some Western societies have against Muslims.
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, is the head of the organization which includes 56 states, across four continents, that have a Muslim majority. Its main goal is promoting Muslim solidarity in economic, social and even political matters.
As far as Pope Francis, the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and the ongoing conflict in Syria were surely among his priorities.
After meeting with the Secretary, the Pope individually greeted his entourage. Then they exchanged gifts.
"This is for the library of the Vatican.”
Ihsanoglu gave the Pope a 14th century publication that was originally printed in Damascus.
Then Pope gave each one of them his papal medallion and as he usually does with most of his guests, he asked for their prayers.
The organization was founded in 1969. On an international level, it claims to be one of the largest multi-government organization, after the United Nations.
The meeting with the Pope is significant, especially since he has vocally encouraged inter-religious dialogue.