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Press Office

Athens, 28 September 2021

Secrertary General of Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy meets with Secretary General of Muslim World League

“We can work together to disprove in practice those who have spoken of a war of civilisations, but also those who want to instrumentalise religion in our wider region, to serve grandiose visions, outdated by history, thus undermining the international order”, stressed the Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO), MP Maximos Charakopoulos to the Secretary General of the Muslim World League (MWL), Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Alissa, during the IAO delegation’s official visit in the MWL’s HQ in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. After the meeting a working lunch was held, that included the Ambassador of Greece Alexis Konstantopoulos, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation Sergey Kozlov and IAO Advisor Dr. Kostas Mygdalis.

Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Alissa, while welcoming the delegation highlighted that “the IAO is an important link to the Orthodox world and we wish to enhance our relationship with our neighbours and brothers. We share our traditions and customs. We are neighbours. Throughout history, there has always been solidarity between Orthodox and Arabs. We feel that we are one. These are the feelings of the Arab world and the Islamic world in general. When I meet Orthodox people I meet my own people because there is a strong historical relationship. Welcome and please know you are among friends.” Regarding the MWL’s activities, Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Alissa underlined, inter alia: “The MWL brings together Muslim intellectuals, theologians and young people. We have signed MoUs with other religions and beliefs. I am pleased that soon we will be able to sign in Athens an MoU with the IAO as well and swiftly proceed with joint activities”.

Maximos Charakopoulos also pointed out that “the beginning of a common path that we are attempting to embark upon today, with the rich background of our cultural interaction, which seeks to eliminate prejudice, fanaticism and intolerance, and at the same time strengthen mutual understanding, respect and solidarity, is a ray of hope for a better world. Our two big organisations, the MWL and the IAO, secular representatives of two great religions, such as Islam and the Orthodoxy, are showing the way toward our common tomorrow.”

It is necessary to eradicate religious extremism and its sources

The IAO delegation, headed by SG Maximos Charakopoulos, also visited the Intellectual Warfare Center, a centre of operations affiliated with the Ministry of Defence, promoting actions to eliminate religious extremism and to promote the peaceful principles of moderate Islam. The delegation was briefed by Abdullah H. Alhajiri, Secretary of the Board and Director of Support Services of the Centre and they watched special audiovisual material, while they were guided around the facilities and especially the library, which includes books that misinterpret Islam, pushing the faithful toward fundamentalist attitudes.

In the talks that followed, Maximos Charakopoulos thanked Mr. Alhajiri “for the comprehensive briefing on the Centre’s actions in the war against terrorism and extremist ideas, which has been very effective in the time the Centre has been operating. The fact that this Centre is under the auspices of the heir to the throne of Saudi Arabia Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saoud demonstrates the country’s genuine interest to eliminate phenomena that have affected the modern world, and first of all you. We believe that Saudi Arabia is a pillar of stability for the Middle East and beyond and can play a key role in the war on terror. With this visit we wish to send the message of the need for the peaceful coexistence of believers regardless of religion, for the elimination of prejudice and religious intolerance.”

Meeting with Greeks of the Diaspora

During his visit in Riyadh, Maximos Charakopoulos met with a delegation of Greeks of the diaspora, in the presence of the Ambassador of Greece Alexis Konstantopoulos, who explained to him the problems faced by Greeks living and working in Saudi Arabia.





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