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Germany seeks dialogue with country’s 4.5 million Muslims

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, right, shakes hands with a participant as he arrives for the 4th German Islam Conference in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN (AP) — The German government is reaching out to the country’s 4.5 million Muslims by sitting down with community leaders, experts and imams to talk about improving their integration in the country.

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer opened the “German Islam Conference” Wednesday saying the dialogue with Germany’s Muslims will tackle their “beliefs, convictions and traditions … and how they can be put in line with the culture and values rooted in German society.”

Seehofer says training imams in Germany and ending financial support of mosques from abroad are two important goals.

He says the integration of the more than 1 million, mostly Muslim migrants who have arrived in Germany since 2015 needs to be improved and asked that the migrants contribute themselves by honoring Germany’s basic values and learning the language.

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