6th session of the Dialogue of Civilizations Forum on Rhodes (Bishop Athanasius represents SOC)

The 6th annual session of the World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations on the Greek island of Rhodes will beat all records of the previous years by the number of participants. "This time, the forum will bring together about 600 people," Vladimir Yakunin, Co-Chairman of the forum, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Center of National Glory of Russia, said at a briefing in Moscow.

According to him, there were so many people willing to attend that in spite of the shortage of vacant hotel and aircraft places, they were ready to book hotel rooms and airplane tickets individually to be able to participate in the conference.

"This clearly shows an increasing interest in the world public forum and in the very matter of the dialogue of civilizations," Yakunin said.

World known experts in politics, economy, education, culture, arts and religion from Russia, the USA, Europe, China, India, and Latin America will traditionally attend the forum. Rather many participants were expected from Ukraine and Georgia, noted Vladimir Yakunin.

The most renowned names include Alexander Saltanov, Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Robert Fico, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, Vyacheslav Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress, Nikolay Shmelev, Director of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Isayev, the deputy director of the RAS Institute of Oriental Studies, Vyacheslav Nikonov, the president of the Politika Foundation, Zinovy Kogan, the chairman of the Jewish Religious Organizations and Associations in Russia. Serbian Orthodox Church is represented by His Eminence Bishop of Hvosno Athanasius.

"However, the representatives of the political elite will speak in a private capacity at the forum as the dialogue of civilization is held not by government officials but by ordinary people," Yakunin stressed.

A photo exhibition about the recent events in South Ossetia will be held on the sidelines of the forum.