0509 GMT June 26, 2022
Azerbaijan Culture Minister Anar Karimov had meetings with Iran’s Minister of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Ezzatollah Zarghami, Iran’s Culture Minister Mohammad-Mehdi Esmaeili and Director of Iran’s Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO) Mohammad-Mehdi Imanipour to discuss expansion of cultural ties between the two countries.
In his meeting on Tuesday with Azerbaijani minister, Zarghami said that the concept of culture must lead to unity among nations, IRNA wrote.
He described the joint world registration in UNESCO as a symbol of the connection and solidarity between the two nations.
The minister voiced his readiness to cooperate in the preservation of historical monuments which were destroyed in Karabagh.
He pointed to Iran’s long history of ties with Azerbaijan, explaining that both countries’ peoples consider themselves close to each other and governments must exert considerable efforts to remove obstacles.
Speaking about the significance of Khodaafarin Bridge constructed on the border between the two countries, Zarghami said the bridge is a symbol of friendship between Iran and Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijani minister expressed his country’s readiness to expand tourism industry in both countries to create more familiarity between the two nations.
On Monday evening, Esmaeili said that the visit of the Azerbaijani minister is regarded as opening a new chapter in developing joint historical, cultural and civilizational relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Esmaeili made the remarks addressing the joint press conference with his Azerbaijani counterpart Anar Karimov in Tehran, irangov.ir reported.
The two sides stressed their interest in carrying out joint activities in various fields of culture, arts, cinema, visual arts, poetry and literature, he said.
“The relationship between Iran and Azerbaijan is more than a neighborly relationship; we are relatives; so, we will put aside anything that hinders developing relations, because there are common cultural commonalities and historical events between the two countries,” he added.
“We both agreed on joint cultural programs such as book fairs, film festivals and the production of films about celebrities and other issues that will affect promoting historical relations,” he noted.
Karimov said that given the good relations between the two countries, “I hope that a new chapter in cultural interactions between Iran and Azerbaijan will be opened.”
In addition, on Monday ICRO director Imanipour underscored the need for collaboration between Azerbaijan and Iran to expand cultural relations and cooperation.
He made the remarks in his meeting with Azerbaijani minister, noting that the two neighboring countries enjoy appropriate capacities and long-term diplomatic ties, which can pave the way for opening a new chapter of interactions, according to IRNA.
Iran-Azerbaijan relations are not limited to ties between two neighboring states, but the two nations have close relations and respect each other’s culture, the Iranian official noted.
Imanipour added that the current level of ties is not acceptable, expressing hope that improvement of cultural relationship can help both countries bolster their cooperation in other sectors.
Joint efforts by Baku and Tehran can play a key role in the development of bilateral relations and consolidate the existing level of ties, he argued.
According to the Iranian official, both countries need to hold yearly cultural ceremonies in order to deepen long-term friendship and partnership.
Imanipour also referred to the participation of Azerbaijan in Tehran’s International Book Fair, saying that authorities of both countries can pave the ground for holding joint cultural festivals, especially in handicrafts, theater, movies, documentaries, Islamic arts and calligraphy.
Cultural dialogue between the elite of Azerbaijan and Iran can help display a realistic image of both countries, in particular, in cultural and artistic issues, the head of ICRO mentioned.
Fortunately, the 15th joint cultural commission of Azerbaijan and Iran approved the creation of a specialized committee for cultural coordination, he said, emphasizing that the committee is expected to pursue joint ventures seriously.
Moreover, he proposed designating Baku and Tehran as sister cities, arguing that the move can pave the way for increasing cooperation between the two cities, especially in cultural affairs.
For his part, Karimov described Iran-Azerbaijan diplomatic ties as very important, underlining the need for expansion of cultural interactions.
Iran and Azerbaijan have an ancient history and good neighborliness, which help the two nations pursue brotherly and friendly ties, the minister said, adding that the civilizational ground should promote more efforts to develop the cultural relationship.
He also underlined that Azerbaijan is ready to expand cultural and artistic cooperation with Iran, expressing satisfaction with Iranians’ cultural activities in Baku.
The establishment of Azerbaijan’s cultural center in Iran can help display a real image of Azerbaijani culture and civilization and improve cultural ties, the Azerbaijani minister concluded.