Gatilov: Restoration of Palmyra’s landmarks must remain focus of UNESCO

Moscow, SANA – Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov urged the UNESCO to focus its attention more exclusively on helping restore the archeological sites and landmarks in Palmyra that were vandalized by ISIS terrorists.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted that Gatilov, who is chairing the Russian delegation to the 199th session of the UNESCO Executive Board, met the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova in Paris where he expressed confidence that the UNESCO should focus its attention on helping the Syrian Arab Republic restore Palmyra’s archeological sites, with Gatilov lauding UNESCO’s operational response after Palmyra’s liberation from terrorism.

Earlier, while speaking at the 199th session of the UNESCO’s Executive Board, Gatilov condemned the destruction of Palmyra’s archeological sites at the hands of ISIS terrorists, calling upon international experts to head to Palmyra soon, and asserting the need for the UNESCO to monitor the situation in Palmyra and send a team of international experts to estimate damage as soon as the city is totally secured.

The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister also pointed to Russia’s initiative to adopt a resolution on the UNESCO’s role in the preservation and restoration of Palmyra and other world heritage sites in Syria.

Rasha Raslan / Hazem Sabbagh

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