Date: Sat, 28 Jun 97 06:15:34

Vatican (CWN) -- The Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue today issued a report on the third meeting of a joint Catholic-Islamic commission, which took place last week in Rabat, Morocco. The theme of the meeting was twofold: a discussion of "how Muslims and Christians can talk with each other," and "the rights of minorities."

The Pontifical Council said that the meeting, which was conducted in "a spirit of understanding," concluded with a declaration expressing the participants' "sincere desire to understand the problems which minority groups face in many of the world's counties." The group's statement thus delicately hinted at the need to respect the religious rights of Christians living in countries governed by Islamic law.

The Catholic-Islamic committee was set up in 1995. The Catholic representatives are furnished by the Pontifical Council, which is chaired by Cardinal Francis Arinze. The Islamic side is led by Kamil al-Sharif, the secretary of an international Islamic council for humanitarian aid.