Iran dialogue a success: Philippines

DUBAI - The Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi has termed the conclusion of the Bilateral Conference on Dialogue Among Civilisations between the Philippines and Iran a success. It said that the dialogue among civilisations is likewise being observed in the UAE under the benevolent leadership of the President, His Highness Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

By Ramona Ruiz

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Published: Sun 17 Aug 2003, 12:04 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 10:13 PM

"The framework of the dialogue of civilisations which finds perfection in tolerance amidst cultural diversity is applicable to the day-to-day affairs in the UAE which hosts a large number of nationalities with varied cultures. The dialogue among civilisations is certainly being observed in a cosmopolitan place like the UAE," Consul General and Charge d'Affaires at the Philippine Embassy Generoso Calonge told Khaleej Times.

At the conclusion of the conference held in Manila last month, the body adopted a joint declaration, The Makati Declaration. The declaration called on all governments and civil societies to actively promote a policy of genuine and sincere dialogue among and within nations that will lead to respect for, and appreciation of, cultural diversity.

The declaration was signed by Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Blas F. Ople for the Philippine Government and Ambassador Gholamreza Yousefi for the Iranian Government on August 8. The signing was witnessed by Jejomar Binay, Mayor of Makati City, and Delia Domingo-Albert, Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

According to the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs report, which was furnished to Khaleej Times, the conference was a manifestation of Philippines' support for Iranian President Mohammed Khatami's call for dialogue among nations which he launched in September 1998 addressing the 53rd UN General Assembly. In response, the UN secretary general proclaimed the year 2001 as a Year of Dialogue Among Civilisations.

The report stated: "The Philippine-Iran Bilateral Conference on Dialogue Among Civilisations is a very timely and relevant response to the global challenges that the world is facing today. Aside from its internal implications, the conference has brought out 'internal dimensions' that can be applied in our quest for peace and development in Mindanao."

Meanwhile, the Philippines is set to hold a dialogue in Mindanao to encourage interaction among the culturally diversified people in the area that might eventually lead to the resolution of the crisis.

The two-day session was attended by Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Blas F. Ople, Dr Hamed Reza Assefi, Writer/Spokesperson and Special Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, diplomats, government officials, religious leaders, academicians and media persons.

They came up with the conclusion that there is no war between Islam and Christianity, but there are conflicts between and among people in power.

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