16 January, 2008
Deputy foreign minister Yannis Valinakis is representing Greece at the first international forum on the Alliance of Civilizations, which opened on Tuesday in Madrid.
At the start of the two-day conference, the initiators of the initiative, Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Zapatero and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, stressed their dedication to the mission and prospects of the Alliance of Civilizations.
Taking part in the conference are representatives of the governments of more than 80 countries, international personalities, and representatives of NGOs and Churches.
The Alliance of Civilizations was founded in 2004 following an initiative by Zapatero, who shortly after the terrorist attack on a railway in Madrid presented the idea to the UN General Assembly as a vehicle for understanding between the West and the Muslim and Arab world, aimed at confronting terrorism.
In 2006, Erdogan adopted the initiative, which was later placed under the aegis of the United Nations.
Source: Athens News Agency