Robin Cook Calls for rapprochement between the West and the Islamic World
Regional-European Union, Politics, 10/9/1998
Secretary at the foreign office, Robin Cook, called for the need to improve relations between the West and the Islamic world, in a statement he made on Thursday at the Ismaili center in London.
Cook underlined the need to strengthen cooperation and understanding between Islamic and Western cultures and proposed the holding of dialogue at a high level between the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the European Union.
Some claim that the West needs an enemy, that in the post cold war era, Islam will replace the Soviet threat and that there will be inevitably a clash of civilizations, cook said adding that according to him these claims are utterly wrong.
Citing verses from the holy Koran, Cook called for the joining of efforts to improve mutual understanding, struggle against stereotypes and overcome mistrust.
It is high time the European Union and the OIC started dialogue on their mutual concerns - the Balkans, the Middle East process, Afghanistan, terrorism, human rights issues and minorities situation, he said adding that through dialogue, the two communities will learn to know each other and build trust.
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