Rome, Italy, June 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, His Holiness Pope Francis received His Excellency, Dr. Zuhair Alharthi, Secretary General, International Dialogue Centre, KAICIID.

The Secretary General expressed gratitude for the Vatican’s historical role in helping to establish and support the International Dialogue Centre’s interreligious and intercultural dialogue programmatic work, globally.

The late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, in his role as Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and the late Pope Benedict XVI, met in 2007 to discuss the founding of a new interfaith initiative. That initial gesture of reaching out across centuries of misunderstanding, of setting aside their own certainties in favour of dialogue with the other, has informed KAICIID and its work ever since. The Holy See remains a Founding Observer of the International Dialogue Centre, ensuring our mandate is delivered.

“The Vatican has played a significant role in raising the importance of interreligious dialogue as a necessary means towards creating universal peace,” said the Secretary General. “I am honoured to meet with Pope Francis to reaffirm our efforts in dialogue and the importance of an enhanced commitment to these efforts ahead of his visit to our Host Country, Portugal, for World Youth Day,” he added.

About The International Dialogue Centre – KAICIID
The International Dialogue Centre – KAICIID is an intergovernmental organization that promotes peace and understanding through interreligious and intercultural dialogue by strengthening capacity at the local, national, and regional level through education on dialogue practices; increasing understanding of religious and cultural diversity through leadership for dialogue training, and promoting dialogue and social cohesion through conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and development policies. Learn more at



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