16 February 2006

Syria's Grand Mufti Meets Spanish Ambassador In Damascus

Ahmad F. ZAHRA

Aleppo (SANA)
Monday, February 13, 2006 - 05:10 PM

The Grand Mufti of the Republic Dr. Ahmad Badr Hassoun stressed that
Islam is the religion of amity and tolerance, and underscored deep
friendship and cooperation between Syria and Spain.

Dr. Hassoun, who met in Aleppo with the Spanish ambassador in Damascus
Juan Serat, the Spanish Honorary Consul in the city and the Resident
Representative of the United Nations Development program (UNDP) in
Syria, pointed out to the common cultural civilization between the
two countries.

The Spanish ambassador, for his part, expressed denunciation of the
cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, stressing that freedom of expression
doesn't mean offending religious and humanitarian values.

Mr. Serat said that 'we are all called to enhance the dialogue and
understanding among civilizations so that the world can live in
peace and safety...we urge for respect to the religions and their
revered symbols'

He also voiced admiration of the spiritual and social coherence among
all the Syrians.

His Eminence Archbishop Butros Mrayati of Armenian Catholics and His
Eminence Archbishop Shahan Sarkisian of the Armenian Orthodox in
Aleppo denounced the publication of the offending drawings of the
Prophet Mohammad, stressing that this amount to inciting sedition
and do not reflect the freedom of expression.

Later, the Grand Mufti of the Republic and the Spanish ambassador in
Damascus presented a Spanish financial gift to three charity societies
in Aleppo: The Elderly House for the Armenians, the Syrian Fraternity
Family Socie"

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