“Italy and Germany believe that freedom of faith and the rights of religious minorities are a fundamental part of the international human rights catalogue and of the universal system of values. We believe that these rights should be respected and defended by governments and societies around the world.
While respecting the sovereignty of national states, we believe that the European Union should constructively engage the governments of those countries where incidents of interreligious violence have occured in order to ensure, that the logic of dialogue and peace prevails over disrespect and all kinds of violence. This serves the interests of governments and societies in all parts of the world.
To this regard we expect, that the Council of EU-Foreign Ministers on January 31st will put forward concrete ideas on how to make the cooperation between the European Union and third countries more effective when it comes to protecting religious rights and to promote interfaith-dialogue.”