CAIRO (Sputnik) — Pope Francis is expected to meet with Patriarch Kiril on February 12 in Cuba, in what will become the first ever face-to-face engagement between the heads of the two Christian churches. The two church leaders will meet at the airport in Havana, with the persecution of Christians in the Middle East reportedly being the primary issue to be discussed at the meeting.
"The [Coptic] Church welcomes and supports any dialogue and activities aimed at the unification, in particular, the meeting, which could lead to Christian unity," Father Boules Halim told RIA Novosti.
The East–West Schism occurred in 1054 as communion broke between the Latin-dominated Catholic Church and the Greek-dominated Eastern Orthodox Church over theological and ecclesiastical differences, as well as a conflict between the archpriests of the two capitals, Rome and Constantinople.
In fall 2014, Pope Tawadros II, the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, visited Moscow to meet with Patriarch Kirill, stressing the importance of dialogue between the two Churches.