TEHRAN, Apr. 18 (Press Shia Agency) – Iran’s Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Abbas Salehi met and talked with Iraq’s Nouri Al-Maliki to discuss cultural cooperation between Iran and Iraq.

Iran’s Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyed Abbas Salehi met with Iraq’s former Prime Minister and current Vice President Nouri Al-Maliki yesterday afternoon during which Maliki talked of unity between Iran and Iraq.

Maliki described Iran as a brother and friend country, saying “thanks to the unity between the two countries of Iran and Iraq, the world is witnessing bilateral cooperation in different cultural aspects.”

Maliki also said that after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, it became a free country and culture became one of the main activities of the Iran.”

The Iraqi vice president added “although Iraq has an ancient civilization like Iran, during the Saddam regime cultural activities were stopped under suppression.”

Maliki underlined that Iran ranks among top 8 countries in the world in terms of scientific progress.

Selehi, for his part, expressed his appreciation for the meeting and briefed Maliki on Iran’s cultural activities in Iraq.

Explaining Iran’s cultural activities in Iraq, Salehi said that Iran has held a lot of book exhibitions and other kinds of fairs in the field of culture, adding “nearly 80,000 books are printed and distributed annually in the country and our effort is to increase these activities.”

“Many joint cultural and art programs have been conducted, and we hope that these activities will increase,” Salehi added.

At the end of the meeting, the two sides expressed their satisfaction with the mutual meetings and continued cultural cooperation between the two countries.

Heading an Iranian delegation comprised of his deputies, Salehi arrived in Baghdad on Monday afternoon for a four-day visit.

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