Wien, 16. May 2013 Press release

Spindelegger: “Nigeria needs dialogue between the religions”

Vice-Chancellor concerned about escalation of violence in Nigeria

Vienna, 16 May 2013 – Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger expressed his concern about the escalation of violence in Nigeria over the past few days and weeks that has caused more than 2000 fatalities. Nigeria has declared a state of emergency because of extremist acts of violence committed in three federal states in the north of the country. The most recent case of extremist violence that has become known is the murder of Reverend Faye Pama Musa, a high-ranking representative of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). The Vice-Chancellor expressed his sympathy for the victim’s family.

Spindelegger made reference to his visit to Nigeria last year where he also met the most high-ranking representatives of the Christian and Muslim communities. The Vice-Chancellor mentioned the high degree of readiness of the two parties to enter into dialogue. “I was impressed by the resolve with which the large majority of both Christians and Muslims want to embark on the path towards reconciliation and dialogue. The people in Nigeria wish for peace and reconciliation”, Spindelegger said.

The Austrian Vice-Chancellor also recalled the opening of the International Centre for Interreligious Dialogue in Vienna last November which was attended by the most high-ranking representatives of the Christian and Muslim communities of Nigeria. “Vienna with its long-standing tradition of dialogue lends itself as the ideal place for encounters between the religious communities of Nigeria“, Spindelegger concluded.

Contact:
Federal Ministry for
European and International Affairs
Press Department
Tel.: +43 (0) 50 1150-3320
Fax: +43 (0) 50 1159-213
abti3(at)bmeia.gv.at