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UAE Delegation Attends US State Department Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom

July 27, 2018

Delegation Highlights UAE Commitment to Tolerance and Coexistence

Washington, DC (27 July 2018) – A senior delegation of government and faith leaders from the United Arab Emirates attended the US State Department Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom (July 25-26). At the Ministerial, the group reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to promoting peace, tolerance and coexistence within the UAE and across the broader Middle East region.

The Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom brought together international leaders from governments, faith organizations and NGOs to discuss solutions for combatting religious persecution and ensuring religious freedom for all. At the Ministerial, members of the UAE delegation met with some of the world’s most prominent religious leaders, where they discussed ways to foster interfaith dialogue and greater cultural understanding.

“We are pleased to represent the UAE at the State Department Ministerial, and highlight the country’s longstanding commitment to inclusion and tolerance among all faiths,” said Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi, delegation head and secretary general of the Muslim Council of Elders. “These are values we share with our friends in the United States.”

Earlier this week, the delegation visited the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC and presented a model of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi to UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba. The Mosque represents the the UAE’s values of inclusion and acceptance for all people.

“Sheikh Zayed saw the UAE’s diversity as one of its key strengths,” said Ambassador Al Otaiba. His vision of an open and tolerant society carry forward in the UAE today.”

While visiting Washington, DC, the delegation also met with US counterparts to discuss religious tolerance and efforts to counter extremism. Amongst the various interfaith focused meetings, the group met with experts from the George Washington University Program on Extremism and the Middle East Institute, where they discussed the UAE’s shared interests with the US to counter extremism and highlighted the country’s efforts to promote a positive vision for the region.

In addition to meeting with US faith leaders and experts, the group also toured the Washington National Cathedral Tuesday and met with Canon Missioner Reverend Dr. Leonard Hamlin, Sr.