Foundation stone of mosque is laid in Rome near Vatican

The foundation stone of a mosque was laid within sight of the Vatican Tuesday after a decade of delays caused by religious and ecological opposition to the project.

Italian President Sandro Pertini, who attended the ceremony with ambassadors of 24 Islamic sponsor countries, described it as ''an important event in the field of human relations and peace.''

When completed in three years, the project will include public gardens, the biggest Islamic library in Europe, and guest rooms for several hundred pilgrims.

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