On July 17, 2004 ArabicNews.com reported, "The Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar Mohamed Sayed Tantawi and Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria and Patriarch of Saint Mark Diocese presided yesterday on the signing of an agreement on Muslim-Christian dialogue. Sheikh Hamid El-Rifae, Chairman of the International Islamic Forum and Gergis Saleh, Secretary General of the Middle East Council of Churches signed the agreement. Under the agreement, the two sides will be committed to cooperating in the religious and humanitarian issues, respecting human brotherhood and working for joint interests. It stipulates holding an annual meeting for dialogue on cultural issues and activating joint stances on regional and international levels. 'We all believe in one God, united behind joint national causes and seeking progress for our Arab countries,' said Pope Shenouda. This dialogue comes in response to the desire of both the International Islamic Forum and the Middle East Council of Churches, added the Pope. He pointed out that this dialogue will address and develop the joint grounds they share."