31 October 2008, 12:35
Russia - Islamic World group backs Russia's proposal to set up UN religious council
Jeddah, October 31, Interfax - Participants in the fourth session of the Russia - Islamic World strategic vision group, which convened in Saudi Arabia earlier this week, have said they support Russia's proposal to establish a consultative council of religions under UN auspices.
Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, told Interfax-Religion that the session's final communique also praises Saudi King Abdullah's initiative intended to promote dialogue between different religions and cultures.
King Abdullah called on civilizations to co-exist peacefully and constructively and to denounce any idea of confrontation. The king's call for "genuine dialogue, in which parties respect each other," also received applause, Fr. Vsevolod said.
The document suggests that all countries that are members of the strategic vision group should help students and teachers from Russia and Islamic countries receive academic knowledge, promote experience-sharing events involving young people and accelerate the development of an exchange program for teachers and students, he said.
The strategic vision group includes political figures, scholars and representatives of religious and public organizations from Russia and a large number of Islamic countries.
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