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PIA Press Release

PGMA attends Interfaith Dialogue in New York

Manila (November 11) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took a commercial flight for the United States at 10:20 in the evening of November 10, amid destabilization rumors and an ongoing impeachment complaint.

The President's first stop-over is at San Francisco then to New York where she will join world leaders in a special session of the United Nations General Assembly to promote global dialogue on religion, cultures and common values on November 12 to 13.

The meeting is a follow-up to an interfaith conference in Madrid organized by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and King Juan Carlos of Spain in July which brought together Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and representatives of other religions and sparked hopes of a new relationship among religions.

President Arroyo has expressed her full support to the initiative of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud to promote interfaith dialogue at the UN Meeting. The Saudi Monarch had earlier called for religious tolerance to promote world peace and even appealed to fellow Muslims to reach out to other people to show that Islam is not a violent religion.

Press Secretary Jesus Dureza has been earlier quoted as saying that the President will respond to the call "because of our deep support for the Middle East and its support for the Philippines."

Secretary Dureza said the Administration is not taking the destabilization plots too seriously saying that "this is a normal refrain from the critics of the President."

The President is scheduled to fly first to Chicago to meet the Filipino Community there and to know their situation. This has long been scheduled long before the US election, Secretary Dureza said in answer to insinuations that the new President Elect Obama is from Chicago.

From Chicago, the President will go to New York for the interfaith dialogue initiated by Saudi Arabia. (PIA 8) [top]

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