http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=112003&d=21&m=7&y=2008

            Monday 21 July 2008 (17 Rajab 1429) 
     

      UN urged to adopt recommendations of Madrid forum
      P.K. Abdul Ghafour | Arab News 
        
            

            Muhammad bin Ahmed Tayeb    
            
      JEDDAH: Muhammad bin Ahmed Tayeb, director general of the Foreign 
Ministry's regional office, has called upon the United Nations to adopt the 
resolutions taken by last week's interfaith conference in Madrid as working 
plans for its various organizations.

      He said the World Conference on Dialogue in the Spanish capital which was 
called by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, was a big success in 
terms of the large-scale participation of the leaders of different faiths, and 
the important resolutions it passed.

      "We consider this interfaith conference as a turning point in history. It 
reflects the vision of King Abdullah who wants to promote constructive dialogue 
among followers of different religions for the benefit of humanity," Tayeb told 
Arab News.

      Nearly 300 delegates representing Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, 
Hinduism and other faiths from over 50 countries attended the conference, which 
was opened by King Abdullah on Wednesday in the presence of Spain's King Juan 
Carlos.

      "I hope the United Nations Security Council and other UN agencies will 
adopt the principles agreed upon at the conference as guidelines for promoting 
world peace and preventing attacks and discrimination on a sectarian basis," he 
said.

      Tayeb urged all countries to include the importance of dialogue in their 
educational curricula, as well as in their regulations, in order to develop a 
culture of dialogue.

      Tayeb said the conference's success would depend on how the world 
responded to King Abdullah's great initiative and how it seized the momentum 
set in motion by the Saudi leader. "It is the joint responsibility of the 
followers of all religions to reciprocate positively in order to build on this 
initiative," he added.

      The Saudi official emphasized that the conference would have great impact 
on international relations. "We know that religions play a big role in 
promoting peace and stability and peaceful coexistence among them will boost 
cooperation among nations," he added.

      He said the delegates had agreed that religion is to unite humanity, not 
to divide it. "By holding this conference, we Muslims have succeeded in 
projecting the true face of Islam that stands for peace, justice, equality and 
tolerance," he added.

      "Islam has a universal message and calls for peaceful coexistence with 
followers of other religions and it does not want to impose its principles and 
teachings on other communities," he explained.

      In a related development, the Shoura Council commended King Abdullah for 
organizing the Madrid conference at a time when world peace is threatened by 
wars, violence and terrorism.

      A statement issued by the council hoped that the conference would play a 
big role in highlighting the humanitarian face of Islam and removing 
misconceptions about it.

      "It was a good opportunity to establish bridges of contacts with other 
faiths and uphold common human values," it said
     

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