His Majesty King Abdullah II Awarded Dialogue of Civilisations Prize

May 16, 2006

(Jordan Times - Amman) His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday stressed the importance of embracing common international values to establish a sustainable and long-term international partnership that ushers in a new era of coexistence and cooperation between the peoples of the world, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The Monarch made the remarks at a ceremony attended by Her Majesty Queen Rania, during which he received the St. Andrew the-First-Called international prize, “Dialogue of Civilisations,” in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the consolidation of accord between civilisations.

King Abdullah said the “sanctity of human life, innocence of children and anguish of mothers apply to all” in Moscow as well as in Amman, Baghdad, New York, Madrid and Jerusalem.

The peoples of the world, he added, should accept peace as the norm and reject violence as a deviation from the right path, stressing that these values are shared by Muslims, Christians and Jews.

The King said this is the essence of Amman Message, the reality of common values and the trust that should be built across the divides.

A Russian delegation led by Vladimir Yakunin, president of the Russian Railways Ltd. who is also chairman of the St. Andrew Foundation Patrons Council and co-chairman of the Dialogue of Civilisations Forum, were in Amman for the occasion.

Yakunin also delivered a letter to King Abdullah from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who stressed his keenness on continuing bilateral meetings with the Monarch.

Putin said these encounters were important for the two countries to coordinate their positions regarding developments in the Mideast and international arenas.

The president thanked the King for his “true and sincere feelings” towards Russia and his role in bringing closer the various points of view.

Meanwhile, Yakunin praised the King’s efforts to promote intercultural dialogue in his address at yesterday’s ceremony, saying the Monarch has played a significant role in the Mideast peace process in all his state activities and attempted to bring about solutions that ensure the termination of outstanding conflicts.

The Russian Interfax news agency said the delegation would conduct a roundtable conference on Muslim-Christian dialogue during their stay in Amman.

According to Interfax, the delegation comprises Russian Railways Ltd. Vice President Oleg Atkov, (who was the master of the ceremony yesterday), United Russia parliamentary faction first deputy head Valery Bogomolov, Hermitage Director Mikhail Piotrovsky, Russian Foreign Office special envoy Veniamin Popov and St. Andrew Foundation President Senator Sergey Scheblygin, among others.

The St. Andrew Prize was established in 1992 on the initiative of prominent public and religious leaders and renowned scholars and artists. Having as its motto “For faith and faithfulness,” the prize is awarded for services rendered to the consolidation of Russian statehood, Russia’s international authority and union of states friendly to Russia.

The prize, created by the Centre of National Glory of Russia, is awarded every year to “individuals who, through their action, have upheld the values of civilisation and pursued a policy in favour of peace and mutual understanding among peoples and countries.”

Also on Monday, King Abdullah said Jordan was ready to play a role in efforts seeking to restore peace and stability to Sudan, especially after the warring parties in the Darfur region signed a peace agreement.

The King made the remarks during a meeting with the Sudanese President Omar Bashir’s special envoy, Mustafa Ismail.