Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali , and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki received the 2018 ‘Imam Al Hassan Bin Ali Award for Promoting Peace’, awarded by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, in recognition of their central role in ending the long-running conflict between their countries and promoting the values of tolerance and coexistence.
The award was received by the Eritrean and Ethiopian Ambassadors to the UAE on their states’ behalf.
The award was presented at the fifth assembly of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies in Abu Dhabi, with delegates from over 80 countries, including leading religious scholars, and government and civil society experts, to discuss the role of religion in promoting world peace.
The theme of the forum was “Alliance of Virtues: An opportunity for Global Peace”. The key not speech was delivered by the Forum's President, Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah. Speakers at the conference included Ambassador Sam Brownback, US Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, and Shaykh Mohammad bin Abdul Karim al-Issa, Secretary General of the Muslim World League.
In previous years, the annual prize was awarded to Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, from India, for his long work in the quest for peace through his scholarship; The Interfaith Platform of the Central African Republic, which works to end violence in their country; and the Family House, which works on creating harmony between Christians and Muslims in Egypt.
The Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, sponsored by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, brings together the best global Islamic scholarly expertise for solutions to world peace issues, especially the challenge of extremism and politicisation of religions.