On the initiative of Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, an International Conference on “Religious and Cultural Pluralism and Peaceful Coexistence in the Middle East” is being held in Athens from 18 to 20 October 2015.
The International Conference is being convened in the shadow of the dramatic developments and ongoing conflicts in various regions of the Middle East; developments and conflicts causing misfortune and serious repercussions for local communities. The Conference will focus on a consideration of all the dimensions and aspects of this critical issue, and on elaboration of the best ways to protect the rights and fundamental freedoms of the various religious and cultural communities in the Middle East region, with a view to promoting peaceful coexistence in conditions of dignity and mutual understanding.
The conference will provide an opportunity for the opening of an in-depth and comprehensive dialogue among all of the regional and international actors, with particular emphasis on the humanitarian crisis being suffered by the populations of regions of the Middle East, through the prism of the panhuman values of protection of human life, tolerance, pluralism, peaceful coexistence, multiculturalism and multi-religiosity.
Inspired by these values and maintaining historical and traditionally excellent ties with the countries and peoples of the region, Greece wants to provide its good offices and mediation towards finding beneficial solutions to the problems being faced by the cultural and religious communities of the region, especially at this critical time.
Among those who have been invited to the Athens International Conference are Patriarchs and heads of Christian Churches of the region, religious leaders and figures of the Muslim and Jewish World, as well as distinguished representatives of international politics, the academic community and civil society.