Pope Benedict has scheduled a Monday meeting with Muslim diplomatic envoys and leaders of Italy's Islamic community to explain comments about Islam that he says were misunderstood.
The Vatican says the purpose of the meeting is to relaunch dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Islamic world.
Turkey and Iran immediately said they will send representatives to the meeting.
Pope Benedict quoted a 14th-century Byzantine emperor in an academic speech in Germany last week. The medieval-era emperor called some of the teachings of the prophet Muhammad "evil" and "inhuman," but Benedict has said those are not his own views.
The pope has said he deeply respects Muslims as worshippers of one god.
A Pakistani protester shouts slogans to condemn Pope Benedict XVI for his remarks about Islam which hurt the sentiments of Muslims, Sept. 22, 2006 in Lahore, Pakistan Benedict also mentioned the Islamic concept of jihad (holy war) in the lecture, and said violence is not compatible with the nature of God.
Thousands of Muslims worldwide have demonstrated to protest the pope's remarks, including hundreds across Pakistan on Friday.
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