Pope Benedict says there is no option to dialogue between Muslims and Christians - which he says is a vital necessity on which the future depends.
Benedict met with more than 20 Muslim and foreign diplomats outside Rome Monday to try to calm anger over remarks he made earlier this month that sparked violent protests across the Muslim world.
He quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor during a speech who called some of the teachings of the Muslim Prophet Muhammed "evil and inhumane."
The pope said Monday he has profound respect for Muslims and that all religions must reject violence and all forms of intolerance.
He did not specifically refer to his controversial comments other than to say that the circumstances leading to Monday's meeting are well known.
Iraq's envoy to the Vatican Albert Yelda said he is satisfied with the pope's comments and it is time to put the controversy over the earlier remarks behind us.
Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.