09/26/2008, 00.00
SAUDI ARABIA
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Saudi monarch promotes interreligious dialogue

King Abdullah emphasizes the leading role played by the National Dialogue Center in the search for peace and social harmony. He reiterates the importance of an encounter with the faithful of other religions, an essential factor for the "development" and "modernization" of the Arab nation.

Jeddah (AsianNews/Agencies) - The role assumed by the King Abdul Aziz National Dialogue Center is taking on an increasingly important significance in Saudi society, because it promotes the values of peace, tolerance, and dialogue. This is the assertion of King Abdullah, the Saudi monarch and the "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques of Mecca and Medina".

Peace, tolerance, and dialogue "are based on Islamic teachings", King Abdullah stressed during a meeting with leaders of the Center. They call "for moderation and brotherhood". The Saudi monarch reiterates that "dialogue" is essential for true "progress" because it is "the torch that enlightens" minds and contributes to the "development" and "modernization" of the Arab nation.

The king also emphasized the importance of "interreligious dialogue", which must guarantee concrete results, but without neglecting the precepts and principles stipulated by Islam: "A dialogue which emphasizes what we hold in common as human beings", the king said, "will make us realize that the values and principles uniting us are more than those dividing us". He recalled the interreligious meeting in Madrid last July, attended by 300 people from various faiths; according to the king, this opened "new horizons" in talks aimed at promoting "the peaceful coexistence of different religious communities".

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