2010-06-15 16:17:00

Interreligious dialogue helps settle tasks of foreign policy

Russian Foreign Ministry's Ambassador-at-large Konstantin Shuvalov tells Interfax-Religion about Russia's policy in Islamic world, role of inter-religious dialogue in international diplomacy and peculiarities of the Russian Foreign Ministry's work in this direction.


- What are priorities of Russian diplomacy in Muslim world?

- Islamic states don't make an integrated economical community, but participate as our partners in forming polycentric architecture of global management. Our other priority in Islamic world is tuning up the dialogue of civilizations based on the importance of civilization and cultural diversity. Traditional priority of our interaction is preventing and settling conflicts at regional and national levels. The last, but not the least priority is wide development of economic, in particular financial, investment and project cooperation.

- What role in Russia's foreign policy is given to inter-religious, especially to Islamic- Christian dialogue? To what extent is non-government policy important for relations with countries of Muslim world?

- Interreligious, in particular, Islamic-Christian dialogue can play an important useful role in settling political tasks, first of all, creating atmosphere of trust, forming moral limits, getting rid of prejudice. Russian diplomacy welcomes such mechanisms of religious dialogue as the CIS Interreligious Council, the World Summit of Religious Leaders, the Consultative group of Religious leaders at UNESCO.

- Muslim leaders of Russia often speak of our country's special investment appeal for Arab investments. Do you know the dimensions of such investments?

- Financial institutions of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE and other Arab states of the Persian Gulf show interest to interaction with Russia in the investment field. Corresponding work on Russia Islamic partners format is at a preliminary stage.

The Islamic Development Bank, acting under OIC umbrella, focuses its investment and credit cooperation on subjects of the Russian Federation with prevailing Muslim population, especially on the Tatar Republic. Agreement on establishing the Tatar International Investment Company was signed on March 26, 2010. The 2nd International Islamic Banking and Finances Summit is to be held in Kazan on June 28-29, 2010.