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President to Open Bali Interfaith Dialogue

Bali to be Venue for Two-Day Meeting Between Representative of The World’s Religions July 21-22, 2005.

(7/16/2005) President Susilo Bambang Yodhoyono will officially inaugurate the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Bali on July 21-22, 2005, creating an inter-faith dialogue at the Bali International Convention Center (BICC) in Nusa Dua, Bali.

Sponsored primarily by Indonesia and Britain, representatives from 39 ASEM partners and a number of international observers are expected to attend together with government officials, intellectuals, senior journalists and the religious leaders representing, among others, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism.

A Most Timely Meeting

According to a Department of Foreign Affairs Spokesman, events of recent days in London have made the theme of the meeting – "Building Interfaith Harmony within the International Community" extremely timely and, according to the official, "would be used to develop and promote mutual understanding and respect among all religions and faiths in Asia and Europe."

ASEM (the Asia-Europe Meeting) is an informal process of dialogue and cooperation bringing together European Union member states and the European Commission, with ten Asian countries (Brunei, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam). The ASEM dialogues address political, economic and cultural issues, with the objective of strengthening the relationship between the two regions, in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership.