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Merkel wants dialogue with Muslim leaders

BERLIN, April 5 (UPI) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to invite leading German Muslims to her chancellery for an Islam summit.

The summit, which is a bid to promote intercultural dialogue, is currently planned by staff from the chancellor's office and Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, Die Welt newspaper reported Wednesday.

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Apart from leaders from German Muslim organizations, several prominent individual Muslims, such as artists and scientists, will be invited, the newspaper said, adding that the summit is also a bid to unite the many different German Muslim groups. Berlin, observers say, would like to have one main discussion partner -- like an umbrella group -- to direct concerns to.

Topics tackled will be the worldwide row over Mohammed caricatures as well as the recent German debate on how to best integrate young Muslims at German schools.

An estimated 3.3 million Muslims are living in Germany.

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