Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Thursday called for a dialogue between the Islamic religion and other faiths at an Islamic summit held in the Saudi holy city of Mecca, the official MENA news agency reported.
"The Islamic world must continue to promote the dialogue among cultures, civilizations and religions as a substitute to claims and conflict of ideologies," Mubarak was quoted as saying in a speech delivered at an extraordinary summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
The Egyptian president stressed the need to "portray the true image of Islam by defending its great values to confront the anti- Muslim and anti-Islam feelings."
"I trust the OIC is capable of playing a major role in realizing this," he said.
Mubarak also underlined the need for Islamic countries to confront other challenges of globalization.
Islamic countries should strengthen their ties in the trade, economic and investment fields in order to narrow the widening gap with the industrial world, he said.
Mubarak left here earlier in the day for Saudi Arabia to attend the 3rd OIC extraordinary summit which kicked off in Mecca on Wednesday.
The high-profile meeting, which brought top leaders and senior officials from some 57 member states of the OIC, was meant to address a wide range of challenges facing the Islamic countries.
The summit wound up on Thursday afternoon after issuing a final statement outlining a roadmap for joint Islamic action over the next 10 years.
Mubarak met a number of leaders of other Islamic countries on the sidelines of the summit, including host Saudi King Abdullah and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.