MOSCOW (AA) – The Inauguration ceremony of the “Kazan – Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Youth Capital 2022” international program was held in Moscow, capital of Russia.
The ceremony, hosted by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, President of Tatarstan and Russian-Islamic World Strategy Vision Group President Rustam Minnikhanov, as well as Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum (ICYF) Director General Mr. Rasul Omarov, and the head of the Federal Department of Youth Affairs Kseniya Razuvayeva.
Tatar Turkish folk songs were performed in front of the OIC ambassadors and heads of international organizations present during the occasion.
Participants of the event toured the exhibition dedicated to celebrating the 1100th anniversary of the adoption of the Islam by Volga Bulgarian community.
During his speech at the event, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov stated that the dialogue between his country and the OIC member states had improved. “Many Muslim countries have been Russia’s international partners for a long time. Commitment to developing cooperation between states within the framework of principles of equality, mutual consideration of interests and concerns unites us” he said.
Lavrov emphasized the importance of respecting the culture and traditions of all people by saying, “At the same time, we reject attempts to brutally export democracy, to aggressively impose ultra-liberal values and their use in the geopolitical game of relations in the fields of culture, education, and sports”
In this context, Lavrov emphasized the significance of Kazan as the OIC Youth Capital and stated that Tatarstan is a melting pot for religions, civilizations, and old traditions.
“This is the key to any country’s progress. We are glad that Tatarstan leads other Russian regions in developing democratic foreign ties” – he stated.
Minister Lavrov expressed that they are ready to support Kazan in establishing cooperation.
– Minnikhanov: “This date is of great importance for all Muslims”
Tatarstan President Rustem Minnikhanov further remarked that the state’s capital, which has observer status in the OIC, was honored for the first time with the title of Youth Capital. “This is especially significant on the 1100th anniversary of the conversion of the Volga Bulgarians to Islam. This date is significant for all Muslims” he said.
Noting that this year would be marked by a variety of events in Tatarstan, Minnikhanov presented information on the upcoming meeting of the Russia-Islamic World Strategy Vision Group.
– ICYF Director-General Omarov: “Our aim is to establish strong relations between people”
Rasul Omarov, Director-General of ICYF, remarked that Russia is home to a diverse range of people, beliefs, and languages, which is why Kazan was chosen as the OIC Youth Capital.
“Our purpose is to bring together our youth and friends from all over the world, to declare Kazan’s message of peace and friendship to the world, and to develop strong relationships between peoples” Omarov added.
Omarov expressed his optimism that young people will contribute to making the world a better place by stating that humans have passed through numerous tests in recent years.
– OIC Youth Capital Key Handed Over to Kazan
At the ceremony, the key to the OIC Youth Capital was presented to Kazan.
At the occasion, which was followed by a concert, attendees were treated to the tastes of the Tatar cuisine.
– OIC Youth Capital Title
The OIC Youth Capital International Program was initiated by the Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum (ICYF) at its 2nd General Assembly, held in October 2014. The idea of a set of events within the framework of the OIC Youth Capital was supported by delegates of ICYF member youth organizations.
In November 2021, at the Executive Board Meeting of the Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum, it was decided to award the title “OIC Youth Capital – 2022” to the city of Kazan. The status was assigned to a city of the Russian Federation with Muslim majority, an observer state in the OIC, for the first time.