Tatarstan Deputy PM, Soni discuss culture and tourism matters

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New Delhi, Feb 13 (UNI) Tatarstan Republic Deputy Prime Minister Zilya Valeeva today called on Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni and discussed matters related to culture and tourism sectors as part of deepening their bilateral ties and promoting people to people contact.

During the 45-minute meeting, Ms Soni recalled the traditionally warm relations with the people of all the regions of Russia, including Tatarstan, and stressed the need for increased bilateral cultural exchanges.

Observing that India, like Tatarstan, is also a multi-cultural country with freedom to all religions, she said India had signed a Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) with Russia in 2007 and exchange of cultural delegations with Tatarstan would be taken up within the scope of the CEP.

Ms Soni exchanged views about the status of women, libraries and museums and cinema in India with the visiting dignitary, who is also the Culture Minister of Tatarstan. She also stressed the need to increase people to people contact between India and Russia through promotion of tourism.

Describing India as a unique country with a rich heritage, Ms Valeeva said her region was interested in exchange of cultural delegations, information on museums and libraries with India.

She said every year a week of Indian films is being organised in Tatarstan. ''I am looking forward to have Indian film artists in Tatarstan to promote further understanding about Hindi cinema,'' she added.

Ms Valeeva said monuments like the Qutab Minar can attract a lot of tourists from her region. She also evinced a keen interest in the Ajanta and Ellora cave paintings and enquired if exhibition of these paintings could travel to Tatarstan.

UNI SKS VD DS1556

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