Iran News ...


11/30/05

Khatami: Alliance of Civilizations meaningless without dialogue

Madrid, Nov 30, IRNA-Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami on Tuesday evening stressed that the idea behind the `Alliance of Civilizations' proposed by the United Nations is different from his concept of `Dialogue among Civilizations'.

"An alliance of civilizations will be meaningless without dialogue among civilizations," he told an IRNA correspondent here.

The former Iranian president was in Spain's Palma de Mallorca Island to attend the first session of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's high-level group tasked with promoting an `Alliance of Civilizations' between the West and the Islamic World.

Khatami, who first proposed the idea of `Dialogue among Civilizations, disclosed that an international center to promote his concept will be established in a European state.

Distinguished figures in international affairs will take part in the activities of the center, he added.

Referring to his talks in Mallorca with representatives of the 18-member group appointed by the UN secretary-general, Khatami said, "I and several participants in the meeting pointed out that talk about Islamic terrorism and Islamic extremism is meaningless since there is nothing in Islam that sanctions terrorism or extremism." He stressed that extremism and terrorism exist among followers of all other religions and no one has the right to exclusively link these evils to Islam.

Khatami further underlined the need for excavating the roots of extremism in the world.

The three-day meeting of the UN-sponsored high-level group tasked with creating an `Alliance of Civilizations', co-chaired by Mehmet Aydin from Turkey and Spanish former UNESCO director- general Federico Mayor Zaragoza, wrapped up its work in Palma de Mallorca in Spain's Balearic Islands Tuesday.

The meeting was to set in motion an idea of Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero first mooted last year at UN headquarters in New York.

Khatami left Mallorca Wednesday morning for Beirut, Lebanon where he is to attend a gathering on human development from the viewpoint of different religions as well as discuss the thoughts of kidnapped Lebanese Shiite leader Imam Mousa Sadr.

Khatami, during his stay in Beirut, is to hold talks with Lebanese tribal leaders and meet family members of of the kidnapped Lebanese Shiite leader.

Imam Mousa Sadr was kidnapped during an official visit to Libya on August 31, 1978. His whereabouts have not been known since then.

The three-day gathering, attended by writers, intellectuals and cultural figures, starts on Thursday.

... Payvand News - 11/30/05 ... --



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