Mr. Al-Jaafari does not own Syrian archaeological treasure

During the opening of the Vienna talks on 25 January, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr. Jaafari, gifted UN special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, with a Syrian archaeological artefact (icon) as, according to Mr. Jaafaria, a Syrian message of peace.

The icon is believed to be the oldest peace treaty and was discovered in Tal Mardikh, Idlib, and is believed, according to archaeologist,  to belong to Kingdom of Ebla, 2350 B.C.

The ongoing Syrian conflict has resulted in Monumental Loss of Syrian cultural heritage and archaeological treasure. Even though all parties involved in the conflict participated in that loss, either by deliberate destruction or theft to finance their military operations, the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) caused the principal damage.

Syria is the cradle of many human civilizations and one of the oldest and most storied places in the world and Syrian cultural heritage sitesnarrate the history of human civilization in the Middle East.

We at the Fraternity Foundation for Human Rights (FFHR) consider Mr. Jaafari’s behaviour to be uncivilized and irresponsible in preserving national heritage and is not new to the Syrian regime who is used to, in a similar pattern to other dictatorship, sell and gift its national treasure for authoritarian interests and to secure the necessary support and cooperation.

We, at FFHR, appeal to Mr. De Mistura to live up to his responsibilities as Special Envoy for Syria peace and we emphasise the importance of his role in continuing the negotiation process according to United Nations-based Geneva Process for achieving a political solution in Syria.Moreover, we respectfully urge Mr. Mistura to hand over the icon to UNESCO to be saved and returned later to Syria. We have no doubt that Mr. Mistrua , as a respect for Syrian people and history, wouldn’t hesitate in doing so.

Fraternity Foundation for Human Rights (FFHR)
26 January 2018

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