Culture and cultural interaction plays a key role in bolstering the brotherly relations among the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Kuwaiti Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Chairman of the National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters (NCCAL) Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah said here, Wednesday.
The minister is currently presiding over the Kuwaiti delegation to the sessions of the 19th meeting of the GCC Ministers of Culture.
The official, in the same press remarks, announced an invitation by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to the ministers to convene for their 20th meeting in Kuwait, stressing the Amir assigns great priority to the meeting and extends all support needed to guarantee its success.
Sheikh Salman extended thanks to the GCC ministers for their efforts in the service of Arab culture in general and to enrich the GCC cultural scene in particular. He particularly thanked the government and people of the Kingdom of Bahrain for hosting this session and for continuous effort to bolster GCC relations.
The host state's Minister of Information, Shaikha Mai bint Mohammad Al Khalifa, also said she is a strong believer in the role of media and cultural interaction and activity in strengthening ties among nations.
Assistant Secretary General at the GCC Secretariat Khalid Al-Ghassani for his part remarked that the swift changes and developments on the global scene in recent years mean there is a need to shift focus and priority from "keeping up with" to "anticipating" events and coming up with the suitable plans and solutions to adjust and deal with the changes.
The meeting discussed a number of cultural activities planned for the current year within the GCC Cultural Strategy, and means to realize this strategy into results on the ground. There was also a discussion of means to strengthen communication among the member states and exchange of cultural databases, as well as means to strengthen cultural interaction with other friendly nations.
The officials put much focus on means and programs and initiatives to strengthen the sense of and pride in the Gulf cultural identity among the masses. The role of and care needed towards the Arabic Language was also stressed, as was the need to preserve and stress Arab and Islamic cultural and artistic heritage.
On the sidelines of the ministerial session, a ceremony was held to honor a number of GCC figures for distinguished creativity in this field, with Kuwaitis poet Abdellatif Al-Bannai, writer Ghanem Al-Shaheen, and cinema director Waleed Al-Awadhi among those honored