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Portugal to benefit from agreement with Ismaili community: 2015-06-04

Thursday, 2015, June 4
shanghai Daily

LISBON, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Portugal will benefit from agreement with Ismaili community for global head office to be established in the country, Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said on Wednesday.

"The decisive step taken today will enable the deepening of cooperation, until today essential focused on the social area, with the Imamat Ismaili community beginning to support Portuguese institutions dedicated to excellent research on a wide variety of fields of knowledge," Passos Coelho said at the signing ceremony, which took place at the Necessidades palace in Lisbon and was attended by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Rui Machete and Ismaili spiritual head Aga Khan.

"I am present here today due to it being a historic moment which brings a long and intense relation existing between Portugal and the Ismaili community to a new level, reflecting particularly the importance of the Ismaili community that resides in our country and Portuguese speaking African countries," he added.

The prime minister also pointed out Aga Khan's role in "promoting a more tolerant world," after a gun attack last month on a bus carrying mostly Ismaili Muslims in the Pakistani City of Karachi killed at least 45 people.

Passos Coelho also said that the choice of Portugal as the community's global headquarters was an acknowledgment of the Portuguese community's ability to promote dialogue and tolerance between peoples, cultures and beliefs.

The Ismaili Muslim community is a subset of Shiism and counts with around 15 million members who live in 25 countries throughout the world, mainly in South and Central Asian countries.

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