Diplomacy is a multifaceted craft, and soft power and culture are among its most important aspects, Foreign Affairs Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa has said.
The diplomat requires a deep knowledge of national culture through which the nation can be best represented, Shaikh Khalid said during the first session of the Culture and “Diplomacy Conference at Bahrain National Theater on Sunday.
Cultural and historical heritage, including authentic artifacts such as the Pharaonic obelisks and other monuments in major cities around the world, can act as a crucial factor in the diplomatic work, building relations between peoples and emphasizing human achievements. They are a great tribute to the civilizations of countries, Shaikh Khalid added.
The minister lauded Bahrain’s rich cultural movement, saying it has contributed to promoting the civilized face of the Kingdom.
Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, the president of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA) said that culture has reinforced the status of the Kingdom internationally.
Thanks to its cultural diplomacy, Bahrain has won outstanding international recognition, chairing the World Heritage Committee twice in a row and hosting the World Heritage Committee in 2018 in Manama.
Bahraini cities were also selected as cultural and tourism capitals by international organisations.
Shaikha Mai said that Bahrain enjoys strong relations with several countries and that all stakeholders in the Kingdom are working together to promote its heritage and civilization.
The most beautiful thing that can be told about countries is their civilizations and ancient cultures, she added.
Dr Shaikha Muneera bint Khalifa Al Khalifa, the executive director of the Mohammed Bin Mubarak Al Khalifa Diplomatic Academy and the moderator of the first session, said that culture and diplomacy are two sides of the same coin, and stressed that through diplomacy the national identity can be strengthened and strategic relations with other countries can be made based on the richness of cultures and civilizations.
In her opening remarks, Shaikha Hala bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, the general director of culture and arts at BACA, said the conference was an opportunity to bring together young people and introduce them to culture as a supporter of diplomatic work and a means of communicating with the world.
Shaikha Hala stressed that Bahrain has a history of civilization and historical sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List, an impressive arts movement and vibrant music that empower it to open channels of dialogue and cooperation with other civilizations and peoples.
The conference affords young people the opportunity to listen to outstanding and influential figures in the fields of culture and diplomacy, she added.
BACA is keen on providing the chance to listen to the numerous success stories in both culture and diplomacy, she said.