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Sunday, 28 October, 2001, 12:17 GMT
MP's call for 'peace' weekend
Queen Elizabeth II at Remembrance Day service
Remembrance Day recalls past conflicts
A Welsh MP has called for this year's Remembrance services to be dedicated towards the goal of world peace, amid the current global crisis.

Swansea Labour member Alan Williams has urged churches and leaders of all faiths to set aside part of their Remembrance Sunday plans to call for peace and unity on racial and religious grounds.
Alan Williams MP
Alan Williams MP: Call for peace and unity

Mr Williams emphasised his appeal was not intended to seek an end to the allied bombings in Afghanistan, but to focus people's minds on 11 November - two months after the US terrorist attacks.

The MP is behind a Commons early day motion calling for a "weekend of prayer for peace".

The weekend would include Remembrance Sunday, the Jewish Sabbath on Saturday and the Muslim holy day on Friday.

Mr Williams said he had come up with the idea after talks with Muslims in his Swansea West constituency.

They claimed that - despite calls for racial unity - tensions over the terror attacks and bombings had begun to spill over into racial tension and abuse.

"I am not taking a stance which is anti-war and I'm not part of any peace campaign," he said.
Afghan child
Suffering: Afghan children face a grim future

"I see it as a healing process - a few days in which, in the midst of all these tensions, we are able to appreciate that our neighbours who have different religious beliefs and ethnic origins from us are as concerned as we are about peace for ourselves and for our children.

Mr Williams added: "We have a unique opportunity in two weeks, because remembrance is not a specifically Christian event.

"It is an event dedicated to the memory of the horrors of war. Everyone can rally behind that."

Last week, Father of the House Tam Dalyell called for a suspension of the allied bombings next month during Ramadan to avoid a "disastrous" backlash to the campaign.


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See also:

28 Oct 01 | UK
Straw defends war aims
11 Nov 00 | UK
Remembrance Day
27 Oct 01 | Scotland
Anti-war rally against bombing
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