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    RUSSIA TO SET UP MUSLIM UNIVERSITY FOR ACCORD BETWEEN RELIGIONS: FOREIGN MINISTER TO OIC DIPLOMATS

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    MOSCOW, February 19, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondents Anna Bobina and Cristina Rodriges) - An Islamic University will be establish in Moscow, announced Igor Ivanov, Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, while receiving ambassadors of countries on the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.

    A resolution to establish the university has been made, in principle, and preparatory work is on. No doubt, the university will spectacularly promote interreligious accord in Russia, said the minister as he highlighted Christianity and Islam peacefully coexisting here for more than a thousand years. More than that, the two religions are working fruitfully together, he added.

    Russians have stored vast experience of Christian-Muslim coexistence. It is all the more important today, when clashes between religions and ethnic entities are coming into the foreground among global challenges, and give food to international terrorism- that tremendous evil, stressed Mr. Ivanov.

    A dialogue between religions is among top priorities of Russian domestic and foreign policies alike. Appreciation of that priority underlies President Vladimir Putin's initiative for closer partnership with the OIC. Russians were glad to see the initiative meeting Muslim approval- suffice it to mention a hearty welcome the Russian delegation, led by President Putin, received at a 10th OIC summit in Kuala Lumpur, October last, said the Foreign Minister.

    Russia is determined to step up friendly contacts with Muslim countries, he reassured. Mr. Ivanov sees such contacts as major contribution to tackling global problems.

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