Wed Nov 24, 2010
VIENNA (AFP) – Arab League chief Amr Mussa on Wednesday called for an immediate stop to discrimination against Christians in Arab countries, and against Muslims in Europe.
"Any discrimination based on religion must be condemned," Mussa said at the start of an Arab-European Young Leaders Forum in Vienna, sponsored by the Arab League and the Austrian government.
"There are still misunderstandings, which are enforced by extremists on both sides," he added, calling for an "immediate" stop to discrimination against Muslims in Europe and Christians in Arab countries.
Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger admitted that "many mistakes" had been made concerning the integration of Muslims in Europe, but added: "Extremism and populist movements have grown and we must fight them."
Christians have faced insecurity and exclusion in several parts of the mainly Muslim Middle East in recent months.
Participants from all 23 European Union members, Turkey and the Arab League's 22 countries are attending the Arab-European Young Leaders Forum, which runs until Saturday.
The aim of the forum is to promote transnational cooperation between future leaders on political, economic and social issues.