21 July 2009, 16:45
Unique Russian experience of interreligious dialogue should be discussed at global level - Medvedev
Moscow, July 21, Interfax - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev believes it necessary to discuss issues of interreligious dialogue at a global level, including UNESCO platform.
"Russia has a unique experience of interreligious dialogue that has been accumulated for centuries. As a result we were able to build up a big country developing and living according to the laws where rights of all confessions are observed," the country's head has said on Tuesday at a meeting with UNESCO Director General Koichiro Matsuura and participants of the UNESCO High Level Group on interreligious dialogue.
"I believe it right to discuss both this experience and current problems at a global level, in particular using UNESCO opportunities," the Russian President said.
Medvedev said that initiative to set up the High Level Group was very interesting and actual. "I hope it will become a smooth-running and important mechanism that will contribute in strengthening the authority of UNESCO and interreligious dialogue which is the main priority of its work," Medvedev went on to say.
Matsuura thanked Medvedev for the invitation and initiative of setting up the High Level Group. "This initiative you're launching today is very important in the context of promoting interreligious dialogue," he said.
Matsuura stressed that he was looking forward to the first meeting of the Group to be held tomorrow in St. Daniel's Monastery. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia is to chair discussions on interreligious dialogue.
Patriarch Kirill, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the President's press-secretary Natalia Timakova, representative of the Holy See in Russia Archbishop Antonio Menini, Chairman of Caucasian Muslims Office (Azerbaijan) Allahshukyur Pasha-zade, Rabbi and President of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation (USA) Rabbi Arthur Schneier also participated in the meeting.
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