12:47 GMT29 September 2020
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    Russia's Permanent Delegate to UNESCO said that UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has no authority for demining activities in Syria, but it can contribute to ensuring that the process goes as quickly as possible.

    PARIS (Sputnik) The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has no authority for demining activities in Syria, but it can contribute to ensuring that the process goes as quickly as possible, Russia's Permanent Delegate to UNESCO Alexander Kuznetsov told Sputnik in an interview.

    "Large areas have been liberated in Syria, including Palmyra and Aleppo, where most precious monuments of the world heritage are located. But it is necessary to create the basic security conditions, primarily through demining… Of course, the organization has no authority for demining activities. But it might play a catalytic role for the demining process to go as quickly as possible so that the reconstruction work at the world heritage sites could be launched," Kuznetsov said.

    He noted that Russia had sent a group of specialists, comprising 150 people, to demine Palmyra, adding that the scale of the work was very big.

    Russian specialists have been involved in demining operations across the crisis-torn Syria for months. The sappers from Russia have participated in the demining of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra and Aleppo among other settlements after their liberation from the occupation by terrorist groups, such as the Islamic State, which is outlawed in Russia among other countries.

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