August 9, 2002

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Vatican officials met with Islamic leaders in England last month, producing a document condemning racism and calling for continued dialogue between the two religions, the Church said Friday.

Cardinal Francis Arinze, the Vatican point man on dialogue with other religions, led the Catholic delegation at the eighth meeting of the Islamic-Catholic Liason Committee July 12-13 in Markfield, England. Kamil al-Sharif, secretary-general of the Cairo-based International Islamic Council for Da'wa and Relief, led the Islamic delegation.

The main topics were ``Religion and Racism'' and ``Toward a Culture of Dialogue.'' The Vatican released a document Friday containing five key points of agreement between the groups.

The first three points addressed combatting racism, saying ``we accept our responsibility to endeavor to eliminate misconceptions and prejudices which in turn generate racial discrimination.''

The next point asserted the belief that religious values and dialogue ``are conducive to a world of justice and peace.''

The final point committed the two sides to promoting ``a culture of dialogue and to work together in order to introduce this culture of dialogue into our respective communities and more specifically in educational and cultural programs''

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