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Caracas Muslims Inaugurate Mosque With Hemisphere’s Highest Minaret

April 23, 1993 GMT

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) _ A Saudi-financed mosque with the tallest minaret in the Western Hemisphere has opened in Venezuela’s capital, reflecting the importance of oil in this predominantly Roman Catholic nation.

A private Saudi foundation with ties to the Saudi royal family spent more than $10 million to build the mosque and its 373-foot-high marble minaret, said Hassan Majzoob, president of the Islamic Center of Venezuela.

Saudi Arabia and Venezuela are both members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Until now, the only mosque for the country’s approximately 300,000 Muslims was in the western city of Valencia.

President Carlos Andres Perez attended Thursday’s inauguration along with about 300 guests.

Noon prayers on Friday, the Muslim holy day, were to be led by the Imam of Mecca and televised throughout the world.