Washington, May 29 (PTI) US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will host a gathering of mostly “like-minded” foreign counterparts later this summer to brainstorm ways to advance the cause of religious freedom around the world. Also Read - PM Narendra Modi Congratulates US President Joe Biden, Says Looking Forward To Work Together

The first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom will identify ways to push back against persecution and assure greater respect for religious freedom for all, Pompeo said. Also Read - Risk of Further Incitement of Violence: Twitter Permanently Suspends Trump's Account

“The world has made important strides in religious freedom. But we still have a lot of work to do. In that regard, I am pleased to announce that the US will host the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the Department of State on July 25th and 26th of this year,” Pompeo said in his remarks on the occasion of the release of the annual report of the State Department on International Religious Freedom. Also Read - US House Passes Bill to Provide Americans USD 2,000 Stimulus Checks, Sends it to GOP-led Senate

The top American diplomat said he expects the meet to break new ground and is looking forward to hosting his counterparts from like-minded governments, as well as representatives of international organisations, religious communities and civil society, to reaffirm their commitment to religious freedom as a universal human right.

“It will not just be a discussion group, it will be about action. We look forward to identifying concrete ways to push back against persecution and assure greater respect for religious freedom for all,” Pompeo said.

“Religious freedom is, indeed, a universal human right that I will fight for, one that our team at the department will continue to fight for, and one that I know President Trump will continue to fight for,” he said.

The US will not stand by as spectators, he said.

“We will get in the ring and stand in solidarity with every individual who seeks to enjoy their most fundamental of human rights,” Pompeo said.

“Advancing liberty of religious freedom advances America’s interests. Where fundamental freedoms of religion, expression, press and peaceful assembly are under attack, we find conflict, instability and terrorism. On the other hand, governments and societies that champion these freedoms are more secure, stable and peaceful,” he said.

“So, for all of these reasons, protecting and promoting global respect for religious freedom is a priority of the Trump administration. As our National Security Strategy so clearly states, our founders understood religious freedom not as the states’ creation, but as the gift of God to every person and a fundamental right for a flourishing society,” he added.

International religious freedom deserves to be a front-burner issue, and the Trump administration will ensure that it continues to be so, he added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.