Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 7, 2014


U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Rashad Hussain, hosted an interreligious dialogue today on the crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), connecting religious leaders in the United States and CAR to highlight their efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in CAR.

His Grace Dieudonne Nzapalainga, Archbishop of Bangui; Imam Omar Cabinelayama, President of the CAR National Islamic Association; Reverend Nicolas Geurekoyame, President of the CAR Evangelical Association; and Catherine Samapanza, Mayor of Bangui, participated in the online video conference from Bangui, CAR.

The religious leaders from CAR described their efforts to end the ongoing violence and promote peace, thanked the United States for its assistance and efforts, and called for further international humanitarian and security assistance in CAR. The panelists from the United States praised the religious leaders in CAR for their efforts to promote religious tolerance and reconciliation, noted examples of successful interfaith cooperation in the United States, and proposed further collaboration with their counterparts. Both sides agreed to continue the discussion further, to work together to increase education and training on reconciliation and peacebuilding and to seek opportunities to support the travel of religious leaders to CAR to support peace and interreligious cooperation.