Baghdad, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Hassan Nadhim held, today, Sunday, a virtual meeting with his Saudi counterpart, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud, to discuss a large number of current and future joint cultural files and projects.
At the beginning of the meeting, the two parties stressed the importance of increasing the pace of mutual cultural activities between the two countries and deepening relations, especially after the Council of Ministers of Iraq and Saudi Arabia approved a cultural memorandum of understanding, which is one of the fruits of the Iraqi-Saudi Coordination Council.
Nadhim said: “The Ministry of Culture and the Iraqi government are pursuing a new strategy in relations with the Arab brothers, to return Iraq to its Arab embrace and to overcome previous differences. Therefore, we aspire to great cooperation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in many files.”
He explained that “on top of these files is the restoration of (Downtown) Baghdad, or the so-called cultural strip on the banks of the Tigris River, which extends for a distance of 2-3 km and includes Al-Mutanabi Street, a number of heritage mosques, Al-Mustansiriya School and the Abbasid Palace, and we aspire for a Saudi contribution that confirms its cultural presence in Baghdad”.
He added, “We also aspire to jointly work on registering the old Hajj road, Zubaida Road, on the World Heritage List, and to cooperate with the Saudi Ministry of Culture, being one of the contributors to the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas (Alef), as well as other areas such as exchanging cultural days, and Iraq’s presence in the Riyadh International Book Fair is similar to the presence of Saudi Arabia as a guest of honor at the Baghdad International Book Fair, “stressing the importance of cooperation in other important cultural sectors such as child theater, cinema and animation.”
In turn, the Saudi Minister of Culture conveyed the greetings of the Saudi leadership and its desire to deepen relations between the two countries, calling on Iraq to be the guest of honor of the Riyadh International Book Fair.
The prince expressed his admiration for the Baghdad strip project, calling for the formation of a joint working group from the two ministries to work on this project and all other cultural files that were presented and discussed, and he also confirmed the Kingdom’s full support for Iraq in (Alef(.
At the end of the meeting, both ministers expressed their happiness with this fruitful meeting, stressing the importance of holding another meeting in attendance, and enhancing cultural participations between the two countries, especially in cultural festivals, after the end of the Coronavirus crisis.
Source: National Iraqi News Agency