Message of His Excellency Dr. Abdelouahed Belkéziz, Secretary General of the OIC, addressed to the opening session of the international symposium on "Islamic Civilisation in Volga-Ural Region", 8 June 2001


Your Excellency the President of the Republic of Tatarstan,
I am honoured to greet you on the occasion of the international symposium on Islamic Civilisation in Volga-Ural region that the Republic of Tatarstan is hosting in its historically dignified capital Kazan. I would like to express my gratitude for the kind invitation you have extended to me for the opening ceremony. I deeply regret not being able to attend due to my ongoing series of visits to African member states the dates of which coincide with those of the symposium.

I am grateful to your excellency for having graciously extended your high patronage to this symposium, especially taking into consideration that it is the first international meeting to be held by the organisation of the Islamic Conference jointly with the Republic of Tatarstan and within the Volga-Ural region. This high patronage, an eloquent manifestation of the care being devoted by your country to learning, culture and scholarship, represents at the same time an important step towards strengthening the traditionally good relations and cooperation between the region and the whole of the Russian Federation on one hand and the OIC representing the Muslim world on the other. The OIC welcomes the fruitful cooperation established between the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture -IRCICA and the academic institutions of the Russian Federation and in particular, of Tatarstan, which made the convening of this meeting a reality.

Having not been able to attend this important event, I wish to visit the Republic of Tatarstan to meet your Excellency at the earliest convenient time. I also take this opportunity to wish success to all the co-organisers and the participants. With my high regards.