5 July 2017 17:25 (UTC+04:00)
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By Laman Ismayilova
Week of Azerbaijani Culture has officially opened in neighboring Iran.
The Week will see holding of a number of concerts, performances and photo exhibitions in various cities of Iran. The Culture Week aims to develop bilateral cultural cooperation between the two countries, as well as to promote Azerbaijan’s culture, art and tourism potential in Iran.
The official opening ceremony held on July 3 brought together Azerbaijani Culture and Tourism Minister Abulfas Garayev, and Iran`s Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Reza Salehi Amiri and head of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization Abouzar Ebrahimi Torkaman.
Garayev, addressing the ceremony, said that bilateral cooperation has a positive impact on the number of tourists coming from Iran to Azerbaijan.
“More than 60,000 Iranian citizens visited Azerbaijan on Novruz holiday this year. It is a pleasure for us, Baku has its own beauty and attracts Iranian citizens”, said the minister.
He stressed that Days of Azerbaijani Culture were held in Iran in 2010 and Days of Iranian Culture in Azerbaijan in 2011. Unlike previous years, Azerbaijan Culture Days will be held not only in Tehran but also in Isfahan. Week of Azerbaijani Cinema in Tehran, photo exhibition and theater performance will be also organized as part of the event.
Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Reza Salehi Amiri, for his part, said that Iran and Azerbaijan should further expand their relations in all spheres.
“Iran does not impose any restrictions on the development of relations with Azerbaijan, and Tehran considers Azerbaijan its best friend”, he said.
Speaking about the development of cooperation in the field of tourism as well as in other spheres, the Iranian minister underlined the great interest of Iranian citizens to Azerbaijan.
The ceremony also featured a concert by Azerbaijani musicians.
On the same day, photo exhibition highlighting Azerbaijan`s history and modern period was launched within the Days of Azerbaijani Culture in Tehran.
The event brought together Abulfas Garayev, as well as employees of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance of Iran, as well as public figures.
Moreover, Minister Garayev held a number of meetings with Iranian official during his Tehran visit.
Azerbaijan is interested in the launch of regular flights to Baku, Ganja and Nakhchivan cities from various cities of Iran, and this will promote the development of tourism both in Iran and Azerbaijan, Garayev said at a meeting with Iranian vice president, Head of Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization Zahra Ahmadipour.
Garayev added that it is necessary to create joint travel companies that will operate in Azerbaijan and Iran.
“The development of tourism is the best way to further strengthen friendship,” Garayev said, inviting Iranian Vice President Zahra Ahmadipour to pay an official visit to Azerbaijan.
The minister mentioned that ASAN Visa also simplified the travel of Iranian tourists to the country. Now Iranian tourists wishing to come to Azerbaijan do not need to contact the Consulate in Tehran, as they can get a visa online.
The number of Iranian citizens, who visited Azerbaijan during Novruz holiday in 2017 increased by 35-40 percent, compared to last year. Alongside capital city Baku, Iranian tourists also took part in tours to tourist routes such as Lankarana, Lerik, Masalli, Gabala and Sheki.
In general, today citizens of 93 countries take advantage of Azerbaijan’s ASAN Visa system. Electronic visa is a document for one entry, which determines the period of stay in the country up to 30 days.
The sides further noted that the proximity of the Azerbaijani and Iranian peoples requires even greater strengthening of friendship and good-neighborliness.
They stressed that the peoples of the two countries historically had cultural ties, which at the present stage must be developed and passed on to future generations, so that the friendship of Iran and Azerbaijan would be eternal.
Garayev also met Head of National Library and Archives Organization of Iran (NLAO) Ashraf Boroujerdi.
They discussed a range of issues, including developing prospects of cooperation between the national libraries of the two countries, as well as holding the joint book fairs.
The minister highlighted the state program carrying out by the Azerbaijani Government for development of libraries in the country.
Garayev also talked about the Days of Azerbaijani Culture held in Tehran and various cities of Iran.
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