Pope Benedict says Christians and Muslims must work together against intolerance and violence, and stressed dialogue between the two religions is vital to world peace. S
peaking in French, the pope expressed his deep respect for all Muslims. He was addressing Muslim diplomats and leaders of Italy's Islamic community gathered at (Castel Gandolfo) his summer residence outside Rome, as he sought to defuse anger over his recent remarks about Islam.
The pope did not specifically mention the quotation that gave rise to the controversy, saying the circumstances that led to today's (Monday's) meeting are well-known. He said he arranged the meeting to strengthen the bonds of friendship between the two faiths.
Earlier this month, the pope quoted a 14th-century Byzantine emperor who had criticized some of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. Benedict has said those are not his own views.
Muslims worldwide have protested the pope's remarks.