Iran, Azerbaijan determined to enhance cultural, historical ties
The Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts of Iran considered the Khodaafarin and Nezami Ganjavi Bridge as a sign of Iran-Azerbaijan friendship and stressed the need for a joint effort for global registration of Iftar.
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Ezatullah Zarghami, Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts, met with the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan Anar Karimov Tuesday morning and discussed the commonalities between Iran and Azerbaijan.
Referring to the close and old relations between Iran and Azerbaijan in all cultural, social and political dimensions, Zarghami added: "Our nations consider themselves close to each other and governments should do their best to remove obstacles and enhance proximity among nations.»
The top official noted the importance of the Khodaafarin Bridge in ties between the two countries, saying: "This bridge, which is located on the border between the two countries, is a symbol of the establishment of a bridge of friendship between Iran and Azerbaijan."
The Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts pointed to the areas of joint cooperation and added: "Preservation and restoration of historical monuments and buildings is one of the most important missions of this ministry. I was very impressed by the destruction of mosques in Karabakh. We are ready to cooperate in this field and to restore the mosques that were destroyed during the war in Karabakh. What needs to be destroyed today are the walls separating nations, not the monuments."
Zarghami described the joint global registration as a symbol of the connection and civilizational solidarity between the two nations, saying, "The joint global registration of some issues, such as baking thin bread, miniatures and fiddles, show that these works belong to all of humanity. When we jointly submit a work for global registration, it means that the whole world owns it."
The Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts preserved the cultural and civilizational honors between Iran and Azerbaijan and stated: "Culture must unite the countries. Common enemies seek to undermine rich culture of nations, but we must strive to unite all of humanity through a common culture."
The Iranian official named Nezami Ganjavi's as one of the most important cultural commonalities between the two countries, adding: "This great and famous poet is one of the honors of humanity. We must pay attention to the content of his poems and use them to create unity."
Zarghami elsewhere stressed the importance of registering a joint Iftar dossier in UNESCO, adding: "Iftar is an intangible heritage, a divine and human relationship that has been shared between our people and Azerbaijan for a long time, and its global registration is of special importance."
The Minister of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan for his part described his first visit to Iran as coinciding with the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Iran and Azerbaijan, adding: "The political relations between the two countries are at a high level and this issue can support the promotion of other relations."
He also stressed the cultural and civilizational commonalities of Iran and Azerbaijan and the strengthening of these cultural roots, as well as the development of cooperation in the fields of cultural heritage, tourism and handicrafts.
Anar Karimov also called for more contact between nations and unity, and expressed interest in developing the area between the two countries.
"Our relations are not only bilateral but also multilateral, and we have good relations within the framework of international organizations," Karimov said, stating, "When I was a member of UNESCO, the world registration of Iranian works was of special importance to me."
The registration of joint world monuments, the construction of mosques destroyed during the years of the Nagorno-Karabakh war and the revival of Islamic civilization in the region were other issues that the Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan emphasized at the meeting.
Azeri also referred to the Khodaafarin Bridge as a Bridge of Friendship, adding: "This bridge is the most important connecting route of the Silk Road between East and West, and we are trying to register it in UNESCO. We have prepared a memorandum of understanding for the registration of this bridge and sent it to you, which I hope will be signed during the trip to Baku."
The meeting was attended by Ali Darabi, Deputy Minister of Cultural Heritage, Javid Ramadan, Deputy Minister of State Services for Preservation, Development and Reconstruction of Azerbaijan's Cultural Heritage, and Aq Joonesh, Head of the Department of International Affairs of Azerbaijan.