German evangelicals call for dialogue

11th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

11 June 2007, Cologne, Germany (dpa) - The ecumenic congress of the German Evangelical Church ended with an open-air service on the banks of the Rhine attended by at least 100,000 congregants. Congress president Reinhard Hoeppner called for dialogue at all levels, including the Taliban and al-Qaeda, to resolve the world's conflicts. "Only when my enemy enjoys human dignity, can there be peace," Hoppner said. The G8 summit in the northern German resort of Heiligendamm that ended Friday came in for criticism

11 June 2007

Cologne, Germany (dpa) - The ecumenic congress of the German Evangelical Church ended with an open-air service on the banks of the Rhine attended by at least 100,000 congregants.

Congress president Reinhard Hoeppner called for dialogue at all levels, including the Taliban and al-Qaeda, to resolve the world's conflicts.

"Only when my enemy enjoys human dignity, can there be peace," Hoppner said.

The G8 summit in the northern German resort of Heiligendamm that ended Friday came in for criticism from Mechthild Werner, who criticized the level of aid promised for Africa.

The money promised was "better than nothing, but still a pittance," she said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who attended the Church congress on Saturday, had described the Heiligendamm summit as a success, particularly for securing a commitment from the United States that the United Nations would provide the framework for future climate protection measures.

Merkel also warned against Western arrogance in dealing with African countries.

"We can certainly not impose anything on Africa on the basis of our European experience," Merkel told a podium discussion that included 2006 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammed Yunus.

But the chancellor added that minimum standards in some areas had to be set for all countries.

"Globalization can only succeed if there are social minimum standards and minimum standards in the environment. We have to implement these," the chancellor said.

The evangelical congress, which began on Wednesday, drew around a million visitors, its themes mirroring those at the G8 summit that began the same day.

The economic effects of globalization, climate change and aid to the world's poorest, particularly in Africa, were the central themes.

DPA

Subject: German news

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