ROME: Rome Mayor Roberto Gualtieri attended an iftar at the Great Mosque in Italy’s capital on Wednesday, the first such visit in ten years.
It is the country’s largest Islamic center of worship, and it was created thanks to a grant from Saudi Arabia’s late King Faisal.
Naim Nasrallah, president of the Islamic Cultural Center of Rome, and members of the city’s Muslim community greeted Gualtieri.
He attended prayers before joining city councillors and commissioners from all parties for iftar.
Gualtieri stated that the City Council “highly values the active presence of the Islamic Cultural Center, as well as the enormous contribution citizens of the Islamic faith offer to the city of Rome every day.” Our city is proud of its open, multicultural, and multireligious character.”
“We are delighted to host the mayor in this place of spirituality, culture, and architectural beauty,” Nasrallah remarked.
“After a long time, we see the valued tradition of having the mayor of Rome here with us during the holy month of Ramadan to share our iftar restored,” he continued.
“Today, we reaffirm the deep friendship and cooperation that binds the Islamic Cultural Center and the City Council of Rome, as well as the Islamic community and all Rome residents.”
Giovanni Alemanno, a member of the center-right Fratelli d’Italia party, was the last mayor of Rome to attend an iftar at the Great Mosque in 2013.
Neither of his successors, Ignazio Marino of the Democratic Party nor Virginia Raggi of the Five Star Movement, attended any Ramadan events organized by the Islamic Cultural Center.
Gualtieri has maintained tight links with Rome’s Islamic community since his election as mayor last year.