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Sultan bin Khalifa stresses importance of dialogue between East and West

posted on 26/01/2003: 667 views

Davos - Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, has stressed the need the for a constructive dialogue between the East and the West that will ultimately lead to convergence of views on issues that are currently on the agenda of the World Economic Forum. In a statement in Davos yesterday Sheikh Sultan said that the current global situation makes such a dialogue not only imperative but also urgent so that the gap between the Islamic World and the West is narrowed .

He pointed out that issues that are on the Davos agenda, namely corporate challenges, democracy and good governance, role of the civil society organisations, globalisation and emigrants should be debated through constructive engagement rather than through branding other parts of the world without even exploring common grounds on which understanding and trust could be built. On the question of democracy for example, Islam has guaranteed this principle in the form of the Shura as expressed in the Quran.

"The principle of Shura means that the people have greater say in their own affairs as no decisions affecting their interests are taken without their consultations” he said. The nature of the society therefore determines the role that the civil society can play as well as the way by which the society can express itself, he said , adding that if a given society has modelled this concept of democracy according its own particularity, it does not suggest that it has closed or isolated itself from the rest of the world. On the contrary, these societies have constantly been changing and absorbed various aspects of modernity into the main socio-economic stream.

Sheikh Sultan called broader concept of globalisation that will allow regional economic groupings to restructure their economies and thus become the backbone of globalisation. Sheikh Sultan, who is also the Honorary Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is leading the UAE delegation to the 33rd Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum which is currently underway here. The delegation also includes Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Minister of Economy and Commerce in addition to a number of officials from various economic and business sectors. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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