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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » February 4, 2009
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Wałęsa Meets Muslim Ambassadors
February 4, 2009   
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Former president Lech Wałęsa outlined his vision for international peace and stability in the Muslim world at a Warsaw meeting with ambassadors from Muslim countries Jan. 17. At the residence of the Pakistani ambassador, Wałęsa related his own experience of leading the Solidarity trade union movement in Poland and said that winning freedom for Poland and bringing about the collapse of communism in Europe took a great deal of resilience and patience. He also said that the idea of a united Europe was inconceivable during the 1940s and 1950s.

Wałęsa, a Noble Peace Prize winner, also said that he has always advocated non-violent means of achieving freedom and promoting peace within and between nations. Wałęsa's view that frequent meetings, conferences and seminars with the Muslim community had to continue for there to be understanding between different cultures and religions, was endorsed by the ambassadors.

The inaugural Lech Wałęsa award was granted last year to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia for his initiatives in support of inter-cultural dialogue. The Lech Wałęsa award will be given annually by the Lech Wałęsa Institute to individuals and organizations promoting solidarity through non-violent means. King Abdullah's son, Prince Abdul Aziz, received the award at the "Solidarity for the Future" conference held in Gdańsk Dec. 6.

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