Muslim World League Chief Mohammed Al-Issa and President of the Pontifical Council for Interfaith Dialogue Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran on Saturday signed a cooperation agreement on achieving common objectives.
Under the terms of this, the two parties agreed to establish a standing work committee to be headed by the cardinal and Issa.
A coordinating committee composed of two members from each side shall also be set up to meet annually to prepare for meetings. The joint committee shall convene every two years, with its meetings held alternately between Rome and a city chosen by the MWL.
This arrangement represents the culmination of the previous cooperation agreement signed between the MWL and the Pontifical Council, following the secretary-general’s visit to the Vatican last September, during which Al-Issa met with the pope and Tauran, adding to the recent visit of the cardinal to the Kingdom.
To that effect, the MoU highlights the importance of interfaith dialogue and recognition of existing religious and spiritual ties between Christians and Muslims.
It also acknowledged the outstanding role played by the Pontifical Council in promoting constructive relations with believers of other religions and the exceptional MWL role in interfaith dialogue.
On the other hand, Tauran praised the efforts of the MWL in leading initiatives to strengthen relationships and build bridges between religions.
“It is not my intention to present a list of the many initiatives implemented by this organization, but I am fully aware of the relentless efforts exerted to make it through its various programs, really reflect the true meaning of its name, a link, not only among Muslims but also with believers of other religions, especially Christians, to achieve common goals,” he said.
Tauran urged religious leaders to avoid employing religions in the service of narrow ideologies as opposed to seeking to spread proper religious education and awareness, belief in pluralism and rejection of aggression.
Terrorism is an ever-present enemy that rejects coexistence and cannot be justified by religious motives, explained the Cardinal.
The modern-day challenge is not a clash of civilizations, but a confrontation of ignorance and radicalism, stressed both leaders.