- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 24, 2006

‘Alliance’ of faiths

Islamic-American leaders met with the Vatican’s ambassador in Washington to call for a better dialogue between Muslims and Christians after worldwide Islamic protests over remarks by Pope Benedict XVI.

Representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations delivered a letter to Archbishop Pietro Sambi last week and pledged to oppose “any language or action that tends to shake the friendship and alliance between our faiths.”

“It is our belief that the proper response to this situation is for Muslims and Catholics worldwide to increase dialogue and outreach efforts aimed at building better relations between Christianity and Islam,” said the letter delivered by CAIR legislative director Corey Saylor and legal director Arsalan T. Iftikhar.

Archbishop Sambi called on Christians and Muslims to work together for “peace, liberty, social justice and moral values for the benefit of all humanity.”

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:


• President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, who receives an honorary degree from Georgetown University and addresses the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Tomorrow he meets President Bush, and on Wednesday he hold talks with Mr. Bush and President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan.

• Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis of Greece, who meets with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley, Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman and members of Congress. On her two-day visit, she also will speak at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Georgetown University and attend the opening of the new Greek Embassy.

• Foreign Minister Jan Kubis of Slovakia, who speaks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on “Trans-Atlantic Cooperation: Views of the Slovak Government.”

• Timothy Garton Ash and Jan Zielonka of Britain’s Oxford University; Serge Sur and Yann Bedzigui of the University of Paris; Jeffrey Kopstein of the University of Toronto; and David Monyae of South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand. They speak at a forum on trans-Atlantic threats to democracy at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.


• Prince Andrew of Britain, the Duke of York, who attends a reception at the British Embassy. On Wednesday, he visits Mount Vernon to inaugurate the reconstructed George Washington distillery in a ceremony with representatives of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and the Scotch Whisky Association.

• Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble of Germany, who holds an 8 a.m. press conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel to discuss his country’s new counterterrorism database.

• Jacques Andreani, a former French ambassador to the United States, who speaks at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.


• Lesego Motsumi, Botswana’s minister for works and transport, who addresses a forum sponsored by the Corporate Council on Africa.


• President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, who attends a reception at the Kazakh Embassy to unveil a monument to independence. On Friday, he meets President Bush.

• K.P. Sharma Oli, deputy prime minister and foreign minister of Nepal, who addresses the Heritage Foundation on the political conditions in his country.

• Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren, the spiritual leader of Kosovo’s Christian Serbian community. He participates in a briefing on the future of Serbs in the province. Ambassador James Bissett, Canada’s last envoy to what was then Yugoslavia, also speaks at the forum, sponsored by the American Council for Kosovo, Christian Solidarity International and the Religious Freedom Coalition.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.

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