The Minister of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities, Hassan Nazim, revealed the Iraqi government’s desire for Saudi Arabia to participate in restoring the cultural strip on the banks of the Tigris.
In statements followed by Al-Ain Al-Akhbar, Hassan Nazim said, “The Ministry of Culture and the Iraqi government is pursuing a new strategy in relations with the Arab brothers, to restore Iraq to its Arab embrace and to overcome previous differences, so we aspire to great cooperation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in many files.”
Nazem added, “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, the Al-Mustansiriya School and the Abbasid Palace, and we aspire for a Saudi contribution that confirms its presence. Al-Thaqafi in Baghdad. ”
He pointed out that “the government aspires to jointly work on registering the old Hajj road,” Darb Zubaida “, on the World Heritage List, and to cooperate with the Saudi Ministry of Culture as 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 attending Iraq 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.”
On Sunday, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities, Hassan Nazim, held an extraordinary virtual meeting with his counterpart Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud to discuss a large number of current and future joint cultural files and projects.
The two parties stressed at the beginning of the meeting, according to a joint statement, 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.
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. He expressed his admiration for the Baghdad tape 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 proposed and discussed, and he also confirmed the Kingdom’s full support for Iraq in (Alef).
Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi visited the Saudi capital, Riyadh, at the end of last month, the first since he assumed the premiership in May 2020.
During the visit, an understanding took place to strengthen the bonds of joint cooperation between the two countries in several fields, including energy, economy, security and culture.
Iraqi-Saudi relations are witnessing a high-level improvement since the previous government of Haider al-Abadi, while there has been an expansion in the horizons of cooperation during the current period.