Lisbon, 12 May 2016 — Mawlana Hazar Imam is in Portugal for his first official visit since a landmark agreement establishing the global Seat of the Ismaili Imamat in Portugal came into effect.
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Yesterday, Mawlana Hazar Imam met with Foreign Affairs Minister Augusto Santos Silva before meeting with the President of the Portuguese Republic, His Excellency Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who hosted a private dinner in Hazar Imam’s honour.
Welcoming Mawlana Hazar Imam to the dinner, the President spoke of the relationship between Portugal and the Ismaili Imamat.
“What really brings us together is a joint commitment to defend and apply the principles and values that honour the ethical importance of human life, pluralism of societies and respect for the dignity of human beings,” said the President.
“The values of your civil society are the same values that we defend,” responded Hazar Imam. “We have therefore great commonality in the work we do, not only here in Europe, but in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere.”
Today, Mawlana Hazar Imam is expected to meet with Prime Minister António Costa and the President of Parliament, Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues.
On 3 June 2015, the Ismaili Imamat and the Portuguese Republic entered into an agreement establishing Portugal as the global Seat of the Ismaili Imamat. It was subsequently adopted by the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic and ratified by the President of the Republic, coming into effect in November 2015.
Building on a long relationship and a series of earlier accords dating back to the first Protocol of Cooperation signed in 2005, the agreement upholds the promotion of quality of life and the preservation of human dignity, while promoting economic and social development, interfaith dialogue, and the peaceful resolution of conflict as ways of achieving justice and peace.
At the dinner, Mawlana Hazar Imam introduced the first five Senior Officials of the Imamat, to Portugal’s President: Dr Shafik Sachedina, Head of Community Affairs; Jane Piacentini-Moore, Head of the Department for International Financial Affairs; Ambassador Arif Lalani, Head of the Department of Diplomatic Affairs; Nazim Ahmad, Head of the Department of Portugal and other Lusophone Countries and Maitre Laurent Chambaz, Head of the Department for International Legal Affairs.
Once its restoration is complete, the Henrique de Mendonça Palace will house the Seat of the Ismaili Imamat.