Iran, Tunisia to expand cultural relations

Iran, Tunisia to expand cultural relations

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi and Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem stressed expansion of cultural relations between the two countries particularly in the field of art, IRNA reported.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Iranian film week at the Ibn Rachik Cultural Center in downtown Tunis, Salehi called the event as an opportunity to develop the cultural relations between the two Muslim nations.

"Since the western films propagate corrupt immoral ideals, Iranian films are preferred by Muslims around the world; Tunisia's revolution is another achievement for such a great civilization; Tunisia revolution is the mother of other ongoing regional revolutions and Tehran welcomes and supports the current democratic government, there."

Speaking at the event, the Tunisian foreign minster called Iran's Cinema as a progressive one, adding that brilliant Iranian films are the outcome of Iran's great civilization.

"The Islamic culture has connected regional Muslim countries, including Tunisia and Iran; superiority of Iranian nation's technology as well as its art are proven for the entire nations around the world; Tunisia welcomes the development of relations between the two countries in all fields," he added.

On Monday, an Iranian film week kicked-off at the Ibn Rachik Cultural Center in downtown Tunis. Screenings for the showcased films will continue until Sunday April 29, and were organized by the Tunisian Ministry of Culture and National Heritage Preservation in collaboration with the cultural bureau of the Iranian Embassy.

A collection of sixteen movies is going to be screened during the event - including a number of award winning films. In previous years, the Iranian film industry has been well-received internationally. One example is the film A Separation, directed by Asghar Farhadi, which received critical acclaim - winning an Academy Award in February 2012.

The week would be devoted to maintaining and bridging cultural relations between Tunisia and Iran. The film week is intended to serve as an opportunity for cultural exchange, and to transcend linguistic barriers and cultural misconceptions.

The start of the event coincided with the diplomatic visit of Iranian foreign minister to Tunisia. Salehi conferred latest bilateral and international developments in a meeting with his counterpart on Monday.

The Iranian foreign minister stressed the importance of exploitation of Tehran and Tunisia capacities for the interest of both sides.

"Iran is ready to transfer its experiments in all fields including the field of law to the Tunisian brothers in the framework of inter-parliamentarian cooperation."

Speaker of the Tunisian Constituent Assembly for his part welcomed the expansion of cooperation between Iran and Tunisia and conferred with Salehi, latest developments on the drafting of Tunisia's constitution.

Iranian foreign minister had also a meeting with Tunisia's Industries and Trade Minister Mohamed Lamine Shakhari and discussed with him the ways for expansion of economic and trade relations, including making joint investment by Tehran and Tunisia.

Tunisia's Industry and Trade Minister for his part emphasized need for development of relations with Iran. Salehi on Monday also conferred with the Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali in Tunis on issues of mutual interest.

Both sides exchanged views on ways for expanding the two countries' relations in political, economic and trade ties.

They also discussed latest developments in the region and world. The Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem was also present in the meeting.

Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem said on Monday that expansion of ties with Iran helps Tunisian government and nation during democratic transitional period after the revolution.

He made the remarks in a press conference with his Iranian counterpart Ali-Akbar Salehi in Tunis.

Expressing honor on behalf of Tunisian government and nation to host the first Iranian high ranking official after their revolution, Abdessalem said that current volume of trade and economic cooperation is unsatisfactory, calling for further expansion of cooperation in different fields.

He said that Tunis and Tehran share common stand on different issues such as empowering of the Islamic world and on other regional and international issues.

Abdessalam said that he was pleased with holding an Iranian Film Festival in Tunis, calling for further expansion of cultural cooperation between the two countries.

Foreign Minister of Iran Ali-Akbar Salehi heading a political and parliamentary delegation, arrived here on Monday to hold bilateral talks with senior Tunisian officials.

Upon arrival, Salehi was welcomed by the officials of the Tunisian foreign ministry as well as Iran's new Ambassador to the country Peyman Jebelli.

Salehi's visit is taking place at the invitation of his Tunisian counterpart Rafik Abdessalem. During his two-day stay, Iran's foreign minister is planned to hold meetings with several top Tunisian officials on ways to promote bilateral economic and political relations.

The international and regional issues will be also discussed by the two countries.

This is the first official visit of the Iranian foreign minister to Tunis after the victory of the last year revolution in that country.

Iran is determined to prepare the grounds for expansion of mutual cooperation with Tunisia in various fields including tourism and industry in particular. After its revolution, Tunisia has attained a very remarkable status in the Arab world.

Volume of current trade exchange between the two countries of Iran and Tunisia stands at dlrs about 300 million.

Since the beginning of 2011, the Muslim world has witnessed popular uprisings and revolutions similar to what happened in Iran in 1979. Tunisia saw the overthrow of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in a popular revolution in January, which was soon followed by a revolution which toppled Hosni Mubarak in Egypt in February.

Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Yemen have since been the scene of protests against their totalitarian rulers, who have resorted to brutal crackdown on demonstrations to silence their critics.

Bahrain however, has experienced the deadliest clashes. Anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since mid-February, calling for an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty's over-40-year rule.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.

Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed, when some protest rallies turned into armed clashes.

The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.

In October, calm was eventually restored in the Arab state after President Bashar al-Assad started a reform initiative in the country, but the US and Zionist regime plots could spark some new unrest in certain parts of the country.

Edited by: S. Isayev

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