EU to host 'all-religion' conference on European values

Brussels, Belgium - The European Union will host an all-religion conference on May 15 in a bid to foster mutual respect among faiths and promote fundamental rights.

A spokesman for the European Commission - the EU's executive arm - said invitations had been accepted by several Christian denominations, Islamic and Jewish communities.

The meeting in Brussels will be jointly hosted by commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso, European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country holds the current presidentcy of the 27-nation EU.

The encounter was meant as 'a means of continuing a dialogue' between the different religions in Europe and would focus on 'a debate about Europe based on the dignity of human beings and the values that pertain to it,' the commission spokesman said.

A Merkel spokesman said in Berlin that 21 religious leaders were expected to participate in the meeting.