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Monday, October 27, 2008

Zardari, King Abdullah to meet twice next month
Monday, October 27, 2008By Muhammad Saleh ZaafirISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari and Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz will have two meetings next month, the first in Saudi capital Riyadh and the second in New York after one week.The second meeting is likely to take place in the presence of US President George Bush while the first meeting will come in the wake of the maiden visit of President Zardari to Saudi Arabia, commencing in the first week of November, on the invitation of the Saudi King. Highly-placed sources told The News here on Saturday that King Abdullah, who had initiated the historic interfaith dialogue in July last to solve world problems, is organising yet another big event in New York. Religious leaders of different faiths like Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism will attend the conference. Earlier, King Abdullah sponsored the Madrid initiative and decided to hold yet another round of dialogue while the General Assembly committee’s would be in session there. The UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon has also accepted the invitation to attend the conference for dialogue. The king has extended invitations to a number of scholars and religious leaders of different faiths. President Asif Ali Zardari has also been invited for the same. Saudi Ambassador in Islamabad Ali Saeed Awadh Asseri handed over the invitation to the president on Saturday when he called on him here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. The president thanked the king for the gesture. The acceptance would be announced in due course shortly but the sources said that the president had agreed to make it to New York next month. President Asif Ali Zardari will be leaving for New York soon after completing his visit to the Saudi kingdom. The three-day inter-faith dialogue will commence on the 11th of the next month in the UN headquarters. President Zardari will reach New York on November 10. He would be visiting Washington at the conclusion of the dialogue for a short stay there. The president is expected to pay a brief visit to London on his return while the visit to France is also being worked out, the sources said.

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