1 July 2009
Head of State Held Bilateral Meetings with the Leaders of Religious Confessions and Politicians Involved in the Third Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.

Grand Imam of al-Azhar Sheikh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi and Egyptian Minister of Awqaf Mahmoud Hamdi Zaqzouq conveyed greetings of President of Egypt Muhammad Hosni Mubarak and the entire Egyptian people to President Nursultan Nazarbayev.


Sheikh thanked the leader of Kazakhstan for the invitation to participate in the Third Congress and expressed confidence that the inter-faith dialogue in Astana will promote peace, security and prosperity of the entire human society.


Chairman of Saudi Arabian Shoura Council Abdullah Bin Mohammed Aal Al-Sheikh conveyed the greetings of the King of Saudi Arabia and his intention to develop relations between the two countries to Nursultan Nazarbayev.


Abdullah Bin Mohammed Aal Al-Sheikh said that the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions organized at the initiative of Kazakhstan provides better understanding between different religions.


UN Under-Secretary-General Sergei Ordzhonikidze during the meeting with the President of Kazakhstan said that the United Nations support such an important and necessary for the international community initiative of Kazakhstan to hold a religious forum.


- The purpose of this initiative is to improve relations between people, religions and, ultimately, nations. I can see how leaders of world religions are finding a common language. It is very important as the believers are listening to what their leaders say, – stressed S. Ordzhonikidze.


Former Prime Minister of Norway, head of the Center for Peace and Human Rights Kjell Bondevik said that the Center is interested in inter-religious and intercultural dialogue. Its purpose, as the purpose of Astana Congress is to prevent conflicts and bring together different religions.


- We also share your principles on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. In this regard, Kazakhstan is a shining example to the world, - said K. Bondevik.


The Head of State also received the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Amar.


- President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev is a very rare person in today's generation. He combines many positive qualities. His work promotes the occurrence of Kazakhstan on the pages of the world history. Not many people can be proud of their president, and I sincerely envy the Kazakhstanis, – said the Chief Rabbi of Israel at a briefing for journalists.

President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran said that Kazakhstan is a harmonious country in which the representatives of different nationalities, cultures and religions live together in peace.


- Kazakhstan clearly shows that the differences may be not only a source of conflict, but also of mutual enrichment of cultures, traditions and religions, – said Jean-Louis Tauran.


Chairman of the Chinese Daoist Association Zheng Fazhun expressed satisfaction with the fact that representatives of different religions of the world are engaged in a dialogue in the framework of the Congress.


- Holding of the Congress is essential for preserving peace. It is a personal merit of the President of Kazakhstan. Nations of our country has a great respect for that, - said Zheng Fazhun.


The President also received Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger.


- President of Kazakhstan has become a true creator of the bridge of peace that brought together Israel and Arab countries. He has wisdom, intelligence, strong mind, and all the high qualities, which a true great leader must have. I will never forget how at the first Congress Nursultan Nazarbayev took my hand and the one of the Iranian representative and joined our three hands. The whole hall stood up and applauded, - said Yona Metzger.

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