On Tuesday, November 2, 2021, Sarvar Bakhti, President of the ECO Cultural Institute, met with the Minister of Sports and Youth of the Islamic Republic of Iran and emphasized the expansion of joint cultural and sports cooperation.
According to the ECO Cultural Institute, in the meeting that was held in Iran`s Ministry of Sports and Youth, Sarvar Bakhti, while expressing satisfaction with the meeting of the Minister of Sports and Youth of the Islamic Republic of Iran, said: " One of the duties of the ECO organization, which has a cultural nature, is to work in the field of sports, and this issue is also mentioned in the organization's charter and we have planned to focus on during this chapter of ECI activities."
He added: "Sport is one of the best tools of public diplomacy that can create friendship and fraternity between countries."
He suggested holding a meeting between the ministers of sports and youth of the member countries of the organization, stating: "Iran is one of the ECO members and considering its role in the region, this meeting can be a good way in developing sports and therefore valuable steps can be taken."
Referring to the joint meeting with the International Zurkhaneh Sports and Pahlavani Wrestling Federation, Bakhti said: "Our suggestion in this meeting was to hold Zurkhaneh and Pahlavani competitions with a focus on Iran and we can hold these competitions regionally since in other ECO member countries, this Sport is well accepted and welcomed. Our goal is to hold this cup every year under the name of ECO Cup and it can send a message of friendship.
Dr. Seyed Hamid Sajjadi, Minister of Sports and Youth of the Islamic Republic of Iran, while welcoming the views of the president of ECO Cultural Institute, said: "Ministry of Sports and Youth pursues important goals and one of our most important duties is to interact with international organizations on sports and youth."
He continued: "The best things done in the world is teamwork that has good consequences. In sports and youth affairs, when an activity is carried out through interaction and participation, it ends in success. Activity in the field of sports and youth is one of the ways through which different countries can interact with each other."
"We currently have 3,700 youth NGOs which are extensively active and cooperate well with the Ministry of Sports and Youth." These groups are active in different fields, and therefore can cooperate with other countries in youth fields and ECI can create unity among the countries of the region", he added.
"ECO member countries have a lot in common in holding ritual, indigenous and local sports, and therefore must use their capabilities to develop youth sports."
The Minister of Sports and Youth also welcomed the proposal of the president of the ECO Cultural Institute to hold the meeting of the Ministers of Sports and Youth of ECO member countries and zurkhaneh competitions in the region.