The Azerbaijani Culture Minister Anar Karimov has received the Iraqi Minister of Communications Arkan Shihab Ahmad Al Shaibani, who is on an official visit to Azerbaijan, Azernews.az reported.
Welcoming the guest, Anar Karimov stressed that the bilateral ties between Azerbaijan and Iraq are based on history, culture and religion.
The Culture Minister stressed the importance of mutual visits in the partnership between Azerbaijan and Iraq.
He added that the current visit of the Iraqi Minister of Communications to Azerbaijan opens a number of opportunities for fruitful discussions.
Speaking about the Memorandum of Understanding on cultural cooperation signed between the Culture Ministries in 2011, Anar Karimov stressed the importance of further developing cooperation in this area.
Expressing gratitude for Iraq's constant support of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, Anar Karimov informed the guest about Armenia's vandalism against Azerbaijan's cultural heritage during three decades of occupation.
Recalling that the Iraqi ambassador to Azerbaijan also visited Azerbaijan's liberated territories, the Minister pointed out that the cultural infrastructure, as well as cemeteries, mosques, Christian monuments and other places in these territories were purposefully destroyed by the Armenian side.
Anar Karimov noted that the Azerbaijani state is currently carrying out extensive reconstruction and restoration work in the liberated lands, including the city of Shusha, known as Azerbaijan's cultural capital as well as all religious monuments.
Speaking about the global campaign "Peace4Culture", launched by the Culture Ministry together with international partners, Anar Karimov noted that the campaign focuses on informing world community about Armenia's vandalism against Azerbaijan's cultural heritage as well as reviving cultural life in the liberated territories through peace.
Anar Karimov also touched upon the invitation of the Iraqi Culture Ministry to sign a cultural agreement, He also spoke about the historical and cultural ties between the Turkmen people living in Iraq and the restoration of Fuzuli's monument in Karbala.
The poet is considered one of the greatest contributors to the divan tradition (collected poems) in the Azerbaijani literature.
The Iraqi Minister of Communications expressed satisfaction with the current level of development of bilateral relations between the two countries.
Arkan Shihab Ahmad Al Shaibani recalled the protocol signed within the second meeting of the joint commission on trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation.
Notably, the joint commission was established in accordance with the ‘Agreement between Governments of Azerbaijan and Iraq on trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation’ signed on November 10, 2010. The first meeting of the commission was held on December 4, 2013 in Baku.
The Iraqi Minister of Communications shared his views on further expanding cooperation.
In his speech, Arkan Shihab Ahmad Al-Shaibani noted that like in Azerbaijan, Iraq's historical and cultural monuments were also destroyed or looted as a results of many wars.
The sides also exchanged views on a number of other issues of mutual interest.
Earlier, the Culture Minister Anar Karimov met with the head of the Yunus Emre Institute Sheref Atesh.
The meeting focused on the development of cultural ties between Azerbaijan and Turkey.
The sides discussed the production of joint films dedicated to the Karabakh region, known for its rich and ancient history.
They also agreed on the protection of common cultural heritage, mutual long-term training and research of historical monuments.
The issues of preparing a joint action plan for the implementation of other projects were discussed as well.