Russia: We expect a balanced decision on Hagia Sophia

The temple is extremely important for all mankind in terms of culture and history, Maria Zakharova said

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow was waiting for a balanced decision that would take into account UNESCO’s directives regarding the issue of the conversion of the Hagia Sophia.

“We consider the temple extremely important for all mankind in terms of culture and history. UNESCO has included Hagia Sophia in the list of World Heritage Sites and we believe that any request related to the change of this regime should take this fact into account “, added Ms. Zakharova.

“We expect that any decisions on the status of this unique monument will be of a balanced nature, taking into account the high sensitivity of this issue for the faithful, the well-known interfaith framework and the established practice of international law for determining the UNESCO World Heritage management”, Concludes Maria Zakharova.

The intention to turn Hagia Sophia into an Islamic mosque in Constantinople has provoked strong reactions in the European Union, the United States and Russia.

Members of Turkey’s Supreme Court on July 2 decided in only 17 minutes to pass the high;y sensitive issue on to the President of Turkey Erdogan, who is now called upon to decide whether to satisfy his constituents by turning this monument of world heritage into an Islamic mosque.