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Mission News


NYPM 040-2008

04 NOVEMBER 2008


TACLOBAN CITY--President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will join world leaders in a special session of the United Nations General Assembly to promote global dialogue on religion, cultures and common values on 12 to 13 November.

The meeting is a follow-up to an interfaith conference in Madrid organized by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and King Juan Carlos of Spain in July which brought together Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and representatives of other religions and sparked hopes of a new relationship among religions.

President Arroyo has expressed her full support to the initiative of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud to promote interfaith dialogue at the UN Meeting. The Saudi Monarch had earlier called for religious tolerance to promote world peace and even appealed to fellow Muslims to reach out to other people to show that Islam is not a violent religion.

Press Secretary Jesus Dureza was quoted as saying that the President will respond to the call "because of our deep support for the Middle East and its support for the Philippines."

Describing the President's foreign engagement as "not a picnic or a holiday trip," Secretary Dureza said the President who has vigorously endorsed inter-faith dialogues to resolve the conflict in troubled Mindanao, will promote the interest of the country during her visit to the US.

He added that the President would likely spend more time traveling to and from the United States than her actual stay on foreign soil for the trip.

It was learned that General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann has sent invitations to all 192 U.N. member states to the high-level meeting on 12 to13 November and expects at least 20 or 30 world leaders to attend.

Aside from President Arroyo, United States President George Bush has already confirmed his attendance to the UN meeting saying that he remains committed to fostering interfaith harmony among all religions both at home and abroad. (PIA) ###




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