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World leaders gather at the United Nations on Wednesday and Thursday for a conference on inter-faith relations aimed at promoting the “culture of peace”.
Some of the agencies cited diplomatic sources as saying that the meeting was unlikely to produce a joint resolution due to Western countries’ insistence on separating politics from the religion.
Seventeen heads of state are expected to attend, including US President George W. Bush and the leaders of Arab nations and of Israel. Two days of meetings will take the form of a debate in the UN General Assembly under the official theme of “culture of peace”.
The meeting comes at the call of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, who is keen for a UN follow-up to efforts at promoting inter-faith dialogue in the “World Conference on Dialogue” held last July in Madrid.
King Abdullah, who rules as the head of an ultra-conservative Wahabite Muslim royal family, went to Madrid seeking “constructive dialogue” aimed at opening what he called “a new page of reconciliation” among major religions