Isfahan & Gyeongju; The story of a pragmatic friendship on both sides of the ancient continent

Relations between Iran and the Korean Peninsula are historical relations that not only have hundreds of years of history but can also be pursued in mythology.

Iran (IMNA) - In the international system, the People-to-People relationship is a relationship that is always more important than the relationship between governments and the relationship between the two peoples of Iran and Korea have always been warm and stable, just as the spirit of this friendship is felt in the epic of the Kush-Nama.

In addition to the People-to-People relationship, friendly government relations make the two countries a structure for interaction and cooperation.

Being on the verge of the 60th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries indicates that Iran and Korea have had a stable and continuous political relationship. Despite the challenges facing them, a robust structure has prevented significant damage to relations during the challenges.

Isfahan & Gyeongju; The story of a pragmatic friendship on both sides of the ancient continent

Cities and Mayors, as new actors of international relations that are increasingly important in today's global system, pursue City Diplomacy policies while strengthening countries' relations, making cities themselves beneficiary of international relations.

Isfahan and Gyeongju, as cities that place great importance on cultural issues and have been the capitals of their countries in the past, have begun their relations since 2013, emphasizing on cultural and historical issues, and silk road cultural cooperation has played a central role in the relations between Isfahan and Gyeongju.

To date, academic cooperation and participation in cultural events have formed the main part of the relations between the two cities. Tourism topics can be turned into a new axis in Isfahan-Gyeongju cooperation.

The first document agreed by the two cities in 2013 was the Declaration of Silk Road Cooperation between Gyeongsangbuk-do Province and Isfahan, followed by Agreement of Friendly Cooperation between Gyeongju and Isfahan on the cooperation of the main and focal cities of the Silk Road.

In 2014, the first anniversary of the signing of Declaration of Silk Road Friendly Cooperation was held in Isfahan. The two cities agreed in a memorandum of understanding that Isfahan would participate in the Gyeongju Silk Road Culture Festival 2015. Also, a seminar on scientific exchanges of Persia and the Silla Empire was held at the University of Isfahan on the subject of historical re-exploration of civilization exchanges between Persia and Silla.

Isfahan & Gyeongju; The story of a pragmatic friendship on both sides of the ancient continent

According to the agreement, Isfahan Municipality participated in the Silk Road Culture Festival 2015. In this two-month event, in addition to Iran pavilion continuously introduced the traditional arts of Isfahan with the presence of handicraft artists and using Korean-language content; In the National Day ceremony, Iranian performing arts and music were presented to the local and international audiences of this event.

In the next collaboration, Isfahan hosted the Iran-Korea Silk Road Cultural Festival 2017, and at the Chehel-Sotoon Museum Palace, Korean artists presented their ritual arts to Iranian audiences. In this event, which can be considered the largest cultural event of a foreign country in Isfahan, more than 200 Korean artists narrated the epic of Kush-Nama with their roles.

Gyeongju, as a city, owns precious architecture depicted in its city-built structural forms such as temples, palaces, kings' tombs, observatories, Etc. It is a museum city, one of the most historic cities in Korea, and has been the capital of the Silla Kingdom for more than a thousand years.

As mentioned, the mythological root of the relationship between the two nations was in the epic of Kush-Nama and their trade relations through the Maritime Silk Road was narrated in this literary masterpiece. So, addressing Kush-Nama stories has an important place in the cultural programs of Iran and Korea.

The relationship between Isfahan and Gyeongju during the COVID-19 pandemic was not only weakened but also strengthened. The two municipalities have been in contact since the beginning of the crisis,pursued an exchange of experience in the role of urban management in curbing the pandemic. Mayors also met in a video-conference meeting on April 14, announcing the parties' readiness to expand relations and strengthen the two cities' role in enhancing relations between the two countries, underscoring tourism cooperation as an example of meaningful pivot to future cooperation. The two cities issued a Joint Statement, included in the report.

Isfahan & Gyeongju; The story of a pragmatic friendship on both sides of the ancient continent

While the challenges facing the two governments can also affect the relations of cities, the logic of City Diplomacy is based on the fact that cities can bring governments together. Regarding the relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Korea, the influence of third actors is the biggest obstacle to the deepening of relations. Isfahan and Gyeongju can convey the message that strengthening cooperation between the two countries should depend solely on the parties' will and that no external factor can cause any gap for it and the necessary means for the realization of cooperation, such as transportation, cultural and banking communications.

JOINT STATEMENT BY MAYORS OF ISFAHAN AND GYEONGJU

TO STRENGTHEN COOPERATION & FRIENDSHIP

Regarding the historical relations between Islamic Republic of Iran and Republic of Korea and also based on the Friendship Agreement between Isfahan and Gyeongju signed in 2013, His Excellency Mr. Ghodratollah Norouzi the mayor of Isfahan and His Excellency Mr. Joo Nak-young talked via a videoconference meeting on April 14, 2021.

Emphasizing the expansion of bilateral ties and following up the issues of mutual interest under a pragmatic atmosphere to reach a roadmap, both sides affirmed that Isfahan and Gyeongju can take steps to promote the two countries ties.

As the ancient capitals of their countries, Isfahan and Gyeongju, respectively from west and east of Asia, elucidated their strategy of cooperation on cultural cooperation in Silk Road, emphasizing on mythological commonalities and realizing intercultural interactions under the executive projects in order to be an inspirational model for other cities.

At the end, both sides welcomed to prepare a Protocol for Cooperation on Tourism and sign in, in case of agreement, in order to realize the common interests in tourism development which is a high priority for Isfahan and Gyeongju.

Source: Tehrantimes

News Code 518242

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