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Minister of Culture says ‘UAE committed to tolerance, pluralism’

UAE Minister of Culture and Youth Noura Al Kaabi said her country’s commitment to pluralism is rooted in its history and culture.

“We recall with fondness the historic time two years ago when not only the first ever visit of the Pope to the Arabian Peninsula took place but also the signing of the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together,” she said on the occasion of the International Day of Human Fraternity.

“After signing the Document, Pope Francis and Ahmed Al Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar, together announced the adoption of a culture of dialogue as the path; mutual cooperation as the code of conduct; reciprocal understanding as the method and standard,” she added in an op-ed in The National newspaper on Thursday.

The United Nations General Assembly issued Resolution 75/200 proclaiming February 4 as the International Day of Human Fraternity.

“They [Pope Francis and Al Tayeb] exhorted world leaders to work strenuously to spread the culture of tolerance and of living together in peace; to intervene at the earliest opportunity to stop the shedding of innocent blood and bring an end to wars, conflicts, environmental decay and the moral and cultural decline that the world is presently experiencing.”

A personal visit in 1951 by the nation’s Founding Father Shaikh Zayed to the Vatican and several other religious centres in Europe “is worth remembering in our present context because it demonstrates that our respect for and acceptance of others has deep historical roots,” she wrote, the UAE news agency WAM reported.

The UAE’s partnership with the UNESCO for the “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” project is part of the commitment to fight “against the forces of extremism across the globe,” and to “support suffering people anywhere regardless of their creed, color and ethnicity.”

The project that to restore the urban, social and cultural fabric of the old city and achieve the primary goal of fostering reconciliation and social cohesion in Mosul involves the reconstruction and restoration of Al Nouri Mosque and its iconic Al Hadba minaret and Al Saa’a and Al Tahira Churches.

“As we observe the International Day of Human Fraternity, we as a nation, remain committed to the promotion of tolerance and pluralism both in terms of ethical principles and pragmatic considerations,” Al Kaabi emphasised.

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