King Abdullah's Plea for Interfaith Dialogue

Saudi King Abdullah, who passed away on Thursday, had the aim to modernize the kingdom to face the future. He was also a committed supporter of dialogue to solve conflicts.

In 2008, Abdullah made an impassioned plea for dialogue among Muslims, Christians and Jews — the first such proposal from a nation with no diplomatic ties to Israel and a ban on non-Muslim religious services and symbols.

The message from Abdullah, which was welcomed by Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders, came at a time of stalled peace initiatives and escalating tensions in the region.

The call — the first of its kind by an Arab leader — was significant.

Following his plea, the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) was opened in 2012 in Vienna with great pomp by U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and senior figures from the world's main religions.



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