The Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to the Vatican meets the Head of the Vatican Department of Education and Culture

The Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to the Vatican, Rahman Farhan Al-Amiri, met with His Eminence Cardinal Jose Tolentino de Mendonça, Head of the Vatican Department of Culture and Education (Minister of Education and Culture), on Thursday 11/17/2022.

At the outset of the meeting, Ambassador Al-Amiri thanked Cardinal Tolentino de Mendonça for providing the opportunity for this meeting and congratulated him on assuming his duties as head of this important department, and stressed that Iraq, with all its governmental and non-governmental institutions, is open to the Vatican State and its ancient institutions, especially after the historic visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to Iraq and the prospects of cooperation it opened between the two sides, explaining that one of the evidences of that openness is the crowding of Iraqi delegations to visit the Vatican and meet with its officials as part of expressing the true desire for joint cooperation.

Ambassador Al-Amiri briefly reviewed the most important areas of possible cooperation, including the organization of mutual visits between officials of the Department of Catholic Culture and Education and the relevant Iraqi ministries (Culture, Higher Education and Education), the conclusion of memorandums of understanding between Iraqi universities and Catholic universities, and the examination of possible means of cooperation for granting scholarships to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Through the formation of a joint committee between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and the Iraqi Ministry of Culture on the one hand, and the Department of Culture and Education on the other, to agree on possible cooperation mechanisms, publish academic studies and research, and make research information available between Iraqi universities and research centers and their Vatican counterparts.

The two sides discussed holding cultural forums, holding joint exhibitions, and establishing the first Iraqi Vatican Cultural Forum.

Ambassador Al-Amiri concluded his speech by referring to the third meeting of interfaith dialogue that was held in Baghdad for the period between 31/10 to 1/11/2022, and the visits made by the Vatican delegation to a group of Iraqi religious and cultural institutions.

For his part, His Eminence Cardinal Tolentino de Mendonça expressed his great pleasure with this visit, and stressed the importance of Iraq religiously, culturally, and civilized as it is located in the heart of the center of dialogue between the Abrahamic religions, stressing the readiness of his department to be open to all proposals that would expand cooperation between his department and the aforementioned Iraqi institutions, and complete The tracks that the embassy started with his two predecessors (the dean of the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical College for Catholic Education) and he requested that the draft agreement be sent from the relevant Iraqi authorities to study and sign it.

His Eminence also explained that the dialogue of religions and cultures provides both sides with the opportunity for in-depth knowledge, provides a clear vision on both sides, and creates a suitable environment for spreading peace in the service of all humanity.