ANKARA, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Turkey considers the Alliance of Civilizations the global peace project of the 21st century, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.
Erdogan made the remarks at the 4th High-Level Group Meeting of Alliance of Civilizations Initiative in Turkey's largest city Istanbul.
The Alliance of Civilizations Initiative, launched in Nov. 2005 by Spain and Turkey, aims to encourage dialogue between Western and Islamic societies.
The Turkish prime minister underlined the necessity to develop a paradigm based on mutual respect among different cultures and to set up a comprehensive international coalition to maintain relations between communities and states.
"A global threat can only be countered by a global initiative i.e. the Alliance of Civilizations," said Erdogan, adding "We have to put into practice this initiative for next generations to live in peace."
He pointed out that injustice, fears and doubts caused hatred, prejudice and intolerance in the world, calling for exerting more efforts to solve problems between Islam and the West.
Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said at the meeting that different cultures could co-exist, adding, "There are many samples of this kind of co-existence in the world. This is not an optimistic dream."
"Our neighbors are our friends, not enemies ... pressures, acts of violence, poverty and famine are our joint enemies. We should raise our voice against those who are trying to destroy peace in the world," he said.
Zapatero stressed that Spain had always preferred peaceful ways in its fight against terrorism, saying, "Terrorism can never prevent our peaceful thoughts. We should always support peace, one of the biggest desires of the humanity."
The UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who arrived in Istanbul on Sunday, also attended the meeting.