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Syria Takes Part in Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations in Beijing

BEIJING, (ST)- Syria is taking part in the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations which was opened Wednesday evening in Beijing with the participation of 48 countries.

The conference aims, according to the Chinese President Xi Jinping, who opened the event, at providing a platform to consolidate the "cultural foundation" of jointly building a community with a shared future for Asia and humanity. This can be done, according to Jinping, through treating each other with respect and as equals; appreciating the beauty of all civilizations; adhering to openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning; and keeping pace with the times.

The week-long event includes an opening ceremony, panel discussions, an Asian culture carnival and Asian Civilization Week involving more than 110 activities to showcase the diversity and charm of Asian civilizations.  

The Syrian delegation to the conference is led by Assistant Culture Minister Tawfik al-Imam and it comprises the Syrian Female Oriental Band, Raqqa Folklore Band, violin player Nisreen Hamdan, who will be a member of the Asian orchestra in addition to opera singer Aoun Ma'rouf.

In a statement to reporters, al-Imam said that the historic relations between the Syrian and the Chinese peoples are the biggest incentive to enhance bilateral ties, particularly in the cultural domain.

He added that Syria's participation in the conference aims at laying bridges of communication among peoples, boost openness on others' cultures, exchange knowledge and expertise and consolidate the quality of relations between countries.

 Dima Mawazini, head of the Syrian Female Oriental Band, said the band's participation in the conference constitutes a message to show the real and civilizational image of the Syrian women, pointing out that the band will present a collection of traditional Syrian music which talk about Syria through music language which needs no translation, knows no borders and creates a kind of harmony among human beings.    

Director of Raqqa Folklore band, Ismael al-Ojeili affirmed that Syria's participation in this cultural event represents Syria's message to all countries of the world which carries among its folds the amity, civilization and heritage of the Syrian people who have overcome all difficulties and triumphed over terrorism.

Foreign guests including Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Singaporean President Halimah Yacob, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, and UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, spoke at the opening ceremony respectively, according to Xinhua news agency.

They stressed the need to respect the differences, uniqueness and diversity of civilizations, saying that the so-called clash of civilizations argument is a huge mistake which will damage or even cut off the bridge for civilization exchanges.

Hamda Mustafa