Azerbaijan’s Culture Minister Anar Karimov and relevant senior U.S. officials have met to discuss Karabakh’s rehabilitation and cultural cooperation, the minister wrote on his Twitter account on May 4.
“Excellent meeting with Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs [U.S. Department of State] to advance our bilateral cultural cooperation with the U.S. Pleased to inform ASS about our efforts to restore cultural heritage in Karabakh and brand new initiative Peace4Culture,” Karimov stressed.
As a part of his official visit to the country, the Azerbaijani delegation led by Karimov met with a number of relevant U.S. officials, representatives of cultural institutions, as well as attended several cultural events, the Culture Ministry reported on its website.
“We had a very lively and productive debate with leading U.S. think tanks on Azerbaijan’s cultural diplomacy, our new initiative Peace4Culture, and efforts to rehabilitate cultural heritage in liberated territories of Karabakh. I thank the think tanks for very interesting proposals,” Karimov stressed.
The minister discussed cultural and scientific cooperation with representatives of the Smithsonian Institute, the world’s largest group of museums and education and research centers, created by the U.S. government for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.
“Excellent meeting at Smithsonian institute with Kevin Gover and Ambassador Richard Kurin to discuss the perspectives of our cooperation in research, cultural heritage, museums and archaeology. Thankful to Institute for inspiring exchange,” Karimov tweeted about the meeting.
Furthermore, Karimov met Joan Wicks, the Middle East Department Head of the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington.
Several meetings were held after the walk to get acquainted with the library. A number of books on Azerbaijan’s rich and colorful history and culture were also presented to Lanisa Kitchiner, Head of Africa and Middle East Department of the Library of Congress, the ministry said.
The delegation was also informed about the library's Azerbaijani history and culture corner, where the research on Azerbaijan is carried out. Mujgan Nazimova made a presentation on the Azerbaijani collection and catalogues of the Library.
Expressing gratitude to the management and staff of the library for the wide and interesting presentations, Karimov stressed that close cooperation will be continued between the countries.
“Delighted to start my visit to the U.S. by visiting the Library of Congress and meeting with officials to discuss our forthcoming projects. Very pleased to donate some books reflecting history, art, culture and heritage of Azerbaijan to Library. There is huge untapped potential for cooperation,” Karimov underlined
Later, the minister visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum as part of an official visit to the United States.
After getting acquainted with the exhibits, he discussed a number of issues with U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council Chairman Stuart Eizenstat.
Speaking about the multicultural values of Azerbaijan, Karimov recalled the Jewish community that has lived and worked in Azerbaijan for centuries.
The minister said that the Guba Genocide Memorial Complex in Azerbaijan is always remembered with deep respect as a symbol of the genocide committed against Azerbaijanis and Jews. Today, the Holocaust is even mentioned in school textbooks.
For many years, Azerbaijan has hosted conferences and various events dedicated to the fight against anti-Semitism, he added.
During the meeting, the importance of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in transmitting the genocide against Jews to future generations was discussed. They also stressed the importance of future cooperation with the Guba Genocide Memorial Complex in this area, the discovery and promotion of archival materials, and the exchange of information.
“Very good exchange with Chair of the Holocaust Museum Ambassador Eisenstat on Azerbaijan’s experience of peaceful coexistence and our joint efforts against anti-Semitism. We are proud of hosting one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world. Impressed by visiting museum’s exhibitions,” Karimov highlighted.
Afterwards, Karimov attended the concert program of a music group led by famous jazz singer, pianist Amina Figarova.
“We continue to celebrate International Jazz Day 2022 with a wonderful concert of Azerbaijani jazz musicians at the Meridian International Center in Washington DC. Figarova and her band performed the famous song “Lachin” from Karabakh. Many thanks to the Embassy of Azerbaijan in the U.S. and Ambassador Khazar Ibrahim for this opportunity,” the minister stressed.
A bust of legendary Azerbaijani dramatist Huseyn Javid was presented to the U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC), Karimov wrote on his Twitter page.
"On the occasion of the 140th anniversary of the outstanding Azerbaijani playwright and hero of the Azerbaijani people Huseyn Javid we presented his bust to the U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce," the minister said.
He said that the sides discussed the necessity of studying Javid's legacy in both Azerbaijan and the United States.