MADRID (AFP) - Islamic, Christian and Jewish leaders Friday called for an international agreement to combat terrorism, at the end of a landmark Saudi-organised conference. They also appealed for a special session of the UN General Assembly to promote dialogue and prevent "a clash of civilisations." "Terrorism is a universal phenomenon that requires unified international efforts to combat it in a serious, responsible and just way," participants at the three-day World Conference on Dialogue said in a final communique. "This demands an international agreement on defining terrorism, addressing its root causes and achieving justice and stability in the world." They called for more "ways of enhancing understanding and cooperation among people despite differences in their origins, colours and languages," and a "rejection of extremism and terrorism." Around 200 participants attended the gathering in Madrid, organised by the Makkah-based Muslim World League from an initiative by Saudi King Abdullah and aimed at bringing the world's great monotheistic faiths closer together. Among the representatives were the Secretary-General of the World Jewish Congress, Michael Schneider, and Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who is in charge of the Vatican's relations with Muslims. Tauran said Pope Benedict XVI had expressed "a great interest" in the conference. "His Holiness is convinced that dialogue based on love and truth is the best way to contribute to harmony, happiness and peace for the people of the earth," he told the closing session. The cardinal said the conference had "stressed the main convictions that we have in common."The Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, Abdullah al-Turki, said more such conferences are planned, including possibly one in Japan. "There is a need for continuity in dialogue and not depending only on resorting to the UN," he told a news conference. "This is going to be the first of a series of conferences. We have talked about organising a conference in Japan." The event took place against a backdrop of tensions between the Islamic world and the West since the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States. They range from restrictions on the use of the veil by Muslim women in some European countries to blasphemous and the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The conference opened Wednesday with a speech by King Abdullah in which he called on the world's major religions to turn their backs on extremism and embrace "constructive dialogue". Organisers had billed the conference as a chance for the different religions to "get to know each other."In that limited respect, observers said it had succeeded. It also demonstrated King Abdullah's desire to restore the tarnished image of Islam in the West since 9/11. "I expect some important Jewish leaders will be taking back positive reports about the opportunity to engage with Muslims," said Walter Ruby, in charge of Muslim-Jewish relations at the New York-based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. One leading Muslim participant reported a "very good feeling" during the three days of talks. "Nowadays, you have news about war everywhere, but there is no news about peace. At this conference, we sat down and had very good relations," the Secretary-General of the Kuwait-based World Organisation of Pan-Islamic Jurisprudence, Al Seyed AbolGhasem Al Dibaji, told AFP. The conference however provoked some debate in Spain about the decision to stage it in Madrid rather than in Saudi Arabia. But the Saudi Ambassador to Madrid, Saud bin Naif, said the country "is a natural place of this type of dialogue... Spain has hosted for centuries the three major religions, they coexisted in harmony."