| GEO World|
| Saudi king to launch inter-faith forum in Madrid|
| Updated at: 1518 PST, Monday, July 07, 2008|
MADRID: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz will launch a three-day inter-faith conference in Spanish Capital Madrid next week.
In a statement issued from Saudi Palace in Riyadh, the Saudi king "will inaugurate the international dialogue conference which will be held under his auspices in Madrid on July 16-18," a statement carried by the official news agency said.
The agency said the king had left for Morocco on a private visit ahead of the conference due to be attended by Christians, Jews and Muslims.
In March, King Abdullah proposed talks among the three largest monotheistic religions in a first for the kingdom, which hosts Islam's two holiest shrines in Mecca and Medina.
Last month the Mecca-based Muslim World League said the Madrid meeting would bring together representatives from the "followers of God's messages and other cultures."
The conference will "discuss cooperation between communities from different religions and cultures over common human values," the league's secretary general Abdullah al-Turki said.
Leading Islamic scholars meeting in the holy city of Mecca in early June also proposed creating a centre to promote relations between religions.