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Putin hails proposal for religious leaders' meeting

01.01.70

MOSCOW. Feb 23 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that an initiative by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Alexy II, to hold a meeting of leaders of principal global religious communities in Moscow in July "is very good and comes at the right time."

The meeting "will become an additional contribution to the improvement of interaction between people of various faiths, ethnic groups, and nationalities," Putin said at a meeting with Alexy.

The patriarch expressed hope that the meeting would look for ways of surmounting any kind of confrontation between religious communities and seek closer inter-community cooperation.

He pointed out that the meeting would precede a planned summit in Moscow of the Group of Eight industrialized countries (G8).

Putin responded that this was not the only reason why he thought the proposed meeting was well-timed.

"There is a great need for [such a meeting]: we see what is happening in some Muslim countries in connection with the so-called 'cartoon scandal,' and your initiative is very important," he said.

Expert opinion

Halter Marek

02.12.06

Halter Marek
Le College de France
Olivier Giscard dEstaing

02.12.06

Olivier Giscard dEstaing
COPAM, France
Mika Ohbayashi

02.12.06

Mika Ohbayashi
Institute for Sustainable Energy Poliy
Bill Pace

02.12.06

Bill Pace
World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy
Peter I. Hajnal

01.12.06

Peter I. Hajnal
Toronto University, G8 Research Group