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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 May 2007, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK
Profile: Canon Andrew White
Canon Andrew White
Canon White is experienced in hostage-negotiation
Canon Andrew White, the vicar of St George's Church in Baghdad, has extensive experience of conflict mediation in Iraq and the wider Middle East.

The canon is the president and CEO of the Foundation for Reconciliation in the Middle East (FRME), launched in 2005.

The organisation's main projects include efforts toward resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In Iraq, the FRME supports the Iraqi Institute for Peace's bid to ensure regular dialogue between Shia and Sunni leaders and to help them work towards peace.

The foundation's website says Canon White has "been able to gain trust of key religious leaders on both sides in various conflict areas".

"In places of religious tension a mediator becomes an indispensable asset," it says.

"When enemies have cut off all interaction with each other, the role of the intermediary becomes the only possible path forward."

Extensive writings

The canon was involved in unsuccessful efforts in 2004 to free British hostage Ken Bigley, who was eventually murdered after three weeks in captivity in Iraq.

He also took part in negotiations surrounding the siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in 2002.

Canon White has written extensively on conflict resolution and the Middle East, and two recent books on Iraq.

Iraq: People of Hope, Land of Despair, in 2003, was followed by 2005's Iraq: Searching for Hope, which won a Christian Book Award.

The canon has expressed support for the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq.

Before heading the FRME, Canon White led Coventry Cathedral's International Centre for Reconciliation.

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