His Majesty King Abdullah’s visit to the Vatican for talks with His Holiness Pope Francis is timely and propitious for more than one reason.

To start with, both Jordan and the Vatican are championing inter-faith dialogue, not only to promote positive exchanges of ideas and tolerance, but also to use the common message of the three Abrahamic faiths to end conflicts in the region and elsewhere in the world and promote peace everywhere.

As the King pointed out, the Vatican and the Kingdom are partners in promoting the values of peace, tolerance and coexistence between Islam and Christianity.

At the same time, Jordan is working with all stakeholders to establish a culture of dialogue among members of all faiths to counter violence, extremism and religious fanaticism.

True faith could be a maker of peace, particularly in this part of the world, plagued by numerous conflicts and disputes.

Unfortunately, some misguided religious extremists could also use religion to spread hatred and create discord, and that is unacceptable.

Jordan has always been a tolerant country where Muslims and Christians lived together in harmony. And there is no reason to believe that things will change, even if developments in some neighbouring countries may raise fears.

The upcoming visit of the Pope to the holy lands, including Jordan, could serve the cause of the dialogue advocated by the King and the Pope, and may articulate concrete ideas and mechanisms to make it possible and effective.

During his visit to the Vatican, His Majesty also discussed the right path for peace in Palestine and Syria. Both leaders believe in the urgent need for a comprehensive political solution to both Syrian and Palestinian conflicts, solution that is fair and based on international law.

Jordan’s and the Vatican’s message about the need for interfaith dialogue that is put to practical use for mankind must also be put in the service of peace, in the region and globally.