Ladies and gentlemen, friends,
I am very glad to welcome the event participants here in this building. The participants include ambassadors of Muslim states, heads of religious organisations, heads of Russian regions, colleagues from the Presidential Executive Office, the Federal Assembly and regional bodies as well as representatives of the academic and expert communities and the media.
Russia has been a multi-confessional state from time immemorial. Russian Muslims, like representatives of other traditional religions, have always made a significant contribution to the dynamic, peaceful and safe development of our common country, as well as to preserving and building on its rich cultural, historic and spiritual heritage.
Our ties with Islamic states extend deep into the past and are currently making steady progress in different areas. We are united by our steadfast commitment to international law, the principles of equality and justice, respect for each other’s interests as well as for peoples’ cultural and civilisational diversity and their natural desire to choose their own models of political and socioeconomic development. We are against blackmail, pressure and threats in international relations, let alone direct interference in sovereign states’ domestic affairs. This shared philosophy of foreign policy and human affairs forms the solid foundation on which our comprehensive cooperation should be expanded and deepened.
The Russian leadership’s efforts to strengthen the traditional friendly relations with the member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation are widely supported by the public and our regions, especially those where a significant share of people are Muslim. We are glad to find the same sentiments among our partners from Muslim countries.
Given all this, the activities of the Russia – Islamic World Strategic Vision Group, chaired by Head of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov at President Vladimir Putin’s instruction, have a special meaning. They will have to address important tasks of coordinating the comprehensive efforts of civil society, business communities, religious institutions, academics, young people, and cultural figures – everyone who wants to make a contribution to promoting ties between Russia and the Islamic world.
We are pleased to note that there is great demand for what the Group has to offer, for the purposes of bringing our states closer together, further advancing the cause of friendship, trust and understanding between our people, and implementing different joint projects, including in culture, trade, the economy, science and technology.
I would like to wish you and your families peace, health, prosperity and all the best. Thank you for your attention. I give the floor to Chairman of the Russia –Islamic World Strategic Vision Group Rustam Minnikhanov.