And thou shalt assuredly find those who say, ‘We are Christians,’ to be the nearest of them in love to the believers. That is because amongst them are savants and monks and because they are not proud. (Al Quran 5:83)
Source: The Jordan Times
AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday held talks with Pope Francis at the Vatican, focusing on bilateral relations, peace efforts and issues relating to dialogue and Islamic-Christian coexistence, according to a Royal Court statement.
During the meeting, the King voiced Jordan’s keenness on enhancing its relations with the Vatican as both sides are partners in promoting the values of peace, tolerance and coexistence between Islam and Christianity, the statement said.
The Monarch noted that Jordan is working with all stakeholders to establish a culture of dialogue and tolerance among members of all faiths, to counter violence, extremism and religious fanaticism.
The King outlined Jordan’s efforts in this field.
He pointed to last year’s conference held in the Kingdom on the challenges facing Arab Christians and ways to deal with them to better safeguard their pivotal role, especially in the Holy City of Jerusalem, the statement said.
The King also welcomed Pope Francis’ visit to the Kingdom, slated for May 24, which will be his first visit to Jordan since his election as head of the Catholic Church, according to the statement.
Discussions also tackled peace efforts in which His Majesty reiterated Jordan’s unaltered stance of advocating for peace negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis, that can ultimately lead to achieving a comprehensive and lasting peace, on the basis of a two-state solution, the statement said.
On Syria, the King also renewed Jordan’s call for a comprehensive political solution to the ongoing crisis that will end the suffering of the Syrian people and preserve the unity of their country, pointing in this regard to Jordan’s burdens in hosting a large number of Syrian refugees, the statement said.
For his part, Pope Francis said that he is looking forward to his visit to Jordan next month, lauding the King’s role in promoting world peace and values of tolerance and dialogue among followers of the Abrahamic faiths.
The meeting was attended by HRH Prince Ghazi, chief adviser to the King for religious and cultural affairs and the King’s personal envoy.
After the Vatican, the King will leave for Austria and Russia for meetings with Austrian President Heinz Fischer and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
HRH Prince Feisal was sworn in as Regent during the King’s absence.