President Rivlin: I see great significance in convening this meeting and holding the interfaith dialogue. There is not, and never will there be, a war between Judaism and Islam.
Copyright: GPO/Mark Neiman
A delegation of six imams, led by the Secretary General of the Association of Imams and Ulemas of Senegal, Imam El Hadji Oumar Diene, arrived in Israel on November 22, on the initiative of the Israel Ambassador in Dakar, Dr. Eli Ben Tura. The second of its kind, the visit is part of the interreligious dialogue and strengthening of ties between Senegal and Israel.
The delegation met this morning (Thursday 27 November 2014) with President Reuven Rivlin at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.
At the start of the meeting, President Rivlin greeted the delegation and said: "Welcome to Jerusalem the capital of Israel, welcome to the city that is holy to all the monotheistic religions. It is my great honor to welcome you here at the President’s Residence. I see great significance in convening this meeting and holding the interfaith dialogue. There is not, and never will there be, a war between Judaism and Islam. Your arrival here signifies to me friendship and understanding, and the ability for us to come together, each with our own beliefs, yet in agreement that God is the only God."
Imam El Hadji Oumar Diene said to the President, "During this visit we had the chance to see Israeli in-depth, with regards to religion, economics and Israeli society. We are pleased and grateful for the hospitality. We came for peace and an interfaith dialogue, and we are pleased with what we have seen and experienced during our visit. We pray to God in the hope that peace will come to Israel and to the entire world. We saw that you made great efforts to extend your hand toward peace, and we hope that the other side will extend their hands to you in peace and that you live in coexistence."
The Senegalese delegation was comprised of six representatives and leaders of Islamic orders from around Senegal, who visited Israel in order to deepen their understanding and to promote an interfaith and cultural dialogue.
The delegation in Jerusalem
In addition to meeting with President Rivlin, the delegation met with Israeli officials, both Jewish and Arab. They visited agricultural sites and a kibbutz, and prayed with their Arab counterparts in Acre, Jaffa and Haifa. They also made a pilgrimage to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, and other religious sites.