NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev held a number of bilateral meetings with senior religious figures as part of the seventh Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions on Sept. 14 in Nur-Sultan, reported the Akorda press service.
The President expressed his gratitude to the Chair of Russia’s Muftis Council and the Spiritual Administration of Muslims Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gaynutdin and Chair of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Tatarstan Kamil Samigullin for their active assistance in promoting the goals of the congress.
Tokayev stressed that the seventh congress took place at a challenging time and highlighted the importance of strengthening inter-faith dialogue to unite the international community.
Gaynutdinov and Samigullin thanked Tokayev for the opportunity to meet and commended the level of organization of the congress.
During the meeting with the Chairman of the External Church Relations Department of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk, Metropolitan Kirill of Kazan and Tatarstan, and Metropolitan Alexander of Astana and Kazakhstan, Tokayev said that the Russian Orthodox Church plays a critical role in strengthening the unity and solidarity of the people of Kazakhstan.
“Kazakhstan provides all conditions for the development of traditional religions, including Orthodoxy,” the President said.
Tokayev expressed his gratitude to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia for his support in promoting the congress’s high goals and wished him good health and spiritual strength.
In turn, the representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church extended best wishes to the President on behalf of Patriarch Kirill, as well as his support for the country’s ambitions.
“Kazakhstan is committed to fostering interfaith dialogue. The country always supports religious freedoms. It can serve as a bright example for other states in this matter,” said Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau and Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel Yitzhak Yosef during the meeting with the President.
“Israel is one of Kazakhstan’s crucial partners in the Middle East. The states are constantly enhancing trade and economic cooperation while strengthening cultural and spiritual ties,” Tokayev said.
During the meeting with the Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Malcolm Hoenlein, Tokayev discussed the development of the global dialogue between religions and cultures.
The President thanked Hoenlein for active participation in the forum and noted the importance of preserving the traditional foundations of society. Tokayev expressed confidence that this goal is achievable for all confessions, which all strengthen the faith and spirituality of people.
During the meeting with the Saudi Arabian Minister for Islamic Affairs, Abdelatif bin Abdulaziz Abdrahman Alash-Sheikh, the President thanked the delegation for participating in the congress. The sides addressed the development of humanitarian cooperation between Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabian officials, in turn, hailed the congress as an influential platform for fostering global dialogue.