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West impeding restoration of monuments in Syria, Russia's envoy to UNESCO says

April 24, 7:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Western countries are obstructing this work because of their reluctance to maintain contacts with official Damascus, Russia's envoy to UNESCO says

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© Russia's Defense Ministry press service/TASS

MOSCOW, April 24. /TASS/. Western countries are impeding the efforts to restore the destroyed monuments in Syria as they are turning down the contacts with Damascus, the Russian envoy to UNESCO, Alexander Kuznetsov old Izvestia daily.

"We’re calling on this organization all the time to throw its shoulder in the restoration of monuments in Syria, for instance, in Palmyra and Aleppo," he said. "These sites are invaluable and their restoration acquires assistance from the international community, including financial aid."

"Unfortunately, Western countries are obstructing this work because of their reluctance to maintain contacts with official Damascus and without this it’s scarcely possible to hope for efficient cooperation in restoration projects," Kuznetsov said.

On the face of it, Russia has already gotten down to restoring the Syrian cultural monuments, he said.

"Russia has engaged in it already," Kuznetsov said. "We did a huge job to clear Palmyra of mines. Now our experts are about to begin restoration of the Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo, a unique monument of the 8th century A.D."

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