Iranian minister attends event naming Nouakchott 2023 Islamic Culture Capital

January 7, 2023 - 18:36

TEHRAN – Iran’s Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Mohammad-Mehdi Esmaeili, attended a meeting on Friday in Nouakchott, Mauritania to celebrate the city as the Culture Capital of the Islamic World for 2023.

In a meeting with Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani, Esmaeili relayed a message to him of congratulations on behalf of President Ebrahim Raisi, and said that Iran recognizes the potential in the Islamic, Arab and African nations and welcomes any new plan to expand relations with the countries.

“There has been a great surge in interactions with the Islamic world and African nations in Iran’s new government,” Esmaeili said.

“We held meetings with the culture ministers of the Islamic countries on the sidelines of the celebration for the Culture Capital of Islamic World to improve ties with the nations,” he added.

“We learn from such meetings that our culture may provide a great opportunity for us to broaden our public diplomacy,” he noted.

On his part, Ghazouani expressed his thanks to Iran for its strong stance toward the Islamic world’s issues, and noted that the expansion of political, economic and cultural relations between Mauritania and Iran would be strategic in the Middle East and North Africa.

Esmaeili also exchanged views with the culture ministers of some other Islamic counties in his sojourn in Nouakchott.

The Third Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers in Doha in 2001 issued a resolution whereby it adopted the draft program of the Islamic world culture capitals submitted by the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO).

The organization invited the OIC member states to nominate cities of which ICESCO shall select three Islamic world culture capitals each year from the Arab, Asian and African regions. 

Mecca was the first city named the Culture Capital of the Islamic World in 2005.

The Iranian cities of Isfahan and Mashhad won the title in 2006 and 2017 respectively.

Photo: Culture minister Mohammad-Mehdi Esmaeili (L) and guests from across the world attend a meeting in Nouakchott, Mauritania on January 6, 2023 to celebrate the city as the Culture Capital of the Islamic World for 2023.


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