New York, 24 September 2023 (TDI): Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian chaired a meeting of the Ministers of the Ancient Civilizations Assembly at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York on Friday, September 22.

The meeting brought together member states to discuss cultural cooperation and the preservation of ancient heritage.

Representatives from participating countries delivered speeches addressing the importance of preserving ancient civilizations and promoting cultural understanding.

In his speech, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian emphasized the significance of the Ancient Civilizations Assembly as a platform for fostering cultural exchange and global peace.

He expressed hope that the assembly would contribute to creating an atmosphere of peace, mutual understanding, and multilateralism.

The Iranian Foreign Minister stressed the value of inter-civilizational and cultural cooperation as a form of soft power to prevent conflicts, violence, and extremism. He highlighted the role of such cooperation in addressing global challenges.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also raised concerns about the smuggling of historical artifacts and cultural heritage, emphasizing the need for measures to combat this illicit trade.

He proposed the use of technological advancements and artificial intelligence to help preserve both the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of ancient civilizations.

Furthermore, he condemned the repeated acts of sacrilege against the Holy Quran and called out governments that remained silent, attributing their inaction to sinister political motives aimed at disrupting international cooperation and understanding.

He urged responsible governments to criminalize and prosecute such acts to preserve civilized, cultural, and religious interaction between nations.

The Foreign Minister of Iran concluded by announcing that the next meeting of the Ancient Civilizations Assembly’s Ministers is scheduled for December 21 in Tehran, Iran. He extended an invitation to Ministers from member states to participate in this event.

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The Ancient Civilizations Assembly was established in 2017 and includes member states such as Iran, Armenia, Italy, Bolivia, Peru, Iraq, Egypt, Mexico, and Greece.

The Assembly focuses on promoting cultural cooperation and preserving the rich heritage of ancient civilizations.

In 2023, the Islamic Republic of Iran holds the presidency of the Assembly, underscoring its commitment to cultural exchange and global understanding.