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    Russian army sappers work at the historic part of Palmyra, Syria, in this photo released by Russian Ministry of Defence on April 9, 2016

    Moscow Urges Creation of Int'l Coalition on Mine Clearance in Syria

    © REUTERS/ Russian Ministry of Defence
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    Moscow calls for the establishment of an international coalition on the removal of land mines from areas in war-torn Syria, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Gatilov noted that the efforts were aimed, in particular, at preserving "invaluable cultural treasures" in Syria and expressed hope that the United Nations, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) would support the initiative. Russia has been actively engaged in removing mines from heritage sites, he added.

    "Urgent measures on humanitarian mine clearance of the territory of Syria are necessary… We call for creating an international coalition on mine clearing of the Syrian territory," Gatilov said at the Syria Donors Conference in Brussels, according to the ministry's statement issued on Thursday.

    Gatilov noted that the efforts were aimed, in particular, at preserving "invaluable cultural treasures" in Syria and expressed hope that the United Nations, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) would support the initiative. Russia has been actively engaged in removing mines from heritage sites, he added.

    On March 18, the International Mine Action Center of the Armed Forces of Russia announced that Russian specialists had begun demining the historic districts and residential neighborhoods of the Syria's Palmyra, a city registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The operation is expected to be completed within the next month or month and a half.

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    demining, Russia, Syria
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