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    Turkey-Based Organization for Development Hopes to Engage in Palmyra Restoration

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    BINAA is hopeful to get engage in restoring of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Turkish-registered non-governmental Organization for Development BINAA is hopeful to get engage in restoring of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, BINAA Chairman and Founder Omar Shawaf told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    “I hope that one day Palmyra will be an opportunity for many different companies or entities to participate in restoring it,” Shawaf stated.

    When asked whether BINAA has any plans to restore Palmyra, he said, “Maybe, one day.”

    “Palmyra is one of the jewels of Syria. It will be a component of the new economy as you, hopefully, rebuild the country, as you have an infrastructure that will be able to receive tourists. They will want to come and see the history. Palmyra is not only owned by Syria, it is for the world. So you must have the infrastructure in place to be able to host such guests in security and economy that can be built also around the tourist business,” Shawaf added.

    Asked if the company is working in Aleppo, he said, “Right now, it is very difficult to do anything in Aleppo.”

    “But until such time that we are cleared by the different parties to actually engage or be able to present projects in places, like Aleppo, of course, we would welcome it," the chairman added.

    The chairman noted despite the difficult situation in the country, the organization’s work has not stopped and they are considering other new projects.

    “Just to give you an example, for instance, because of the devastation, there are a lot of buildings that have become inhabitable, that need to be removed. One of the projects that we are looking at, clearing the rubble and using some of that rubble for future construction projects. This is primarily in Northern Syria… [But where] this will depend, of course, this will depend on security situation," he explained.

    Shawaf said that BINAA, focused on implementing development and construction projects in Syria, has completed three schools in the Northern Syria territories as well as finished the water systems in Idlib, which brings fresh drinking water to about 85,000 people.

    “Our organization has been for the benefit of the people in Syria. We do not try and engage in any of the political aspects, because ultimately, we are focused on bringing assistance to our people, our families on the ground. Our funding is from different sources, whether it is the United Nations or other donors, but it specifically goes to projects in Syria,” he noted.

    Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier in march that various international structures are showing interested in reconstruction of the monuments of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra destroyed by the Islamic State (Daesh) terror group.

    On March 2, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed in a report to President Vladimir Putin that the Syrian army had regained control over the city of Palmyra with support of the Russian aircraft.

    The city was occupied by Daesh in May 2015 and was under control of the terrorists until March 2016, when the Syrian army supported by the Russia's Aerospace Forces liberated it. However, the jihadists succeeded to drive out the Syrian government forces in December 2016 after a large-scale offensive.

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    restoration, Turkey, Palmyra, Syria
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