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Pope to meet Muslim envoys today

 Pope Benedict XVI is due to have a meeting with a number of Muslim representatives today at Castel Gandolfo. The talks will bring together Muslim ambassadors to the Vatican and Islamic representatives in Italy as well as a French cardinal, Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue. Envoys from Iran, Turkey - where the Holy Father is scheduled to visit on November 28-30 - and Morocco, whose Vatican ambassador had been recalled for consultations, have all confirmed their attendance. Cardinal Poupard said he could not recall a similar initiative in the past ten years, and declared that the meeting was "a signal that the Holy Father's call for a dialogue between cultures and religion has been widely welcomed." "I am very happy that this meeting has been organised," Mohamed Nur Dachan, president of the Union of Muslim Communities and Organisations of Italy told AFP. Mario Scialoja, former Italian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said it was a good opportunity to "clarify things once and for all." Source: VIS/ICN