President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Members of the Syrian Arab Republic Government, Maestro Gergiev, musicians of the St Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, performers, UNESCO ambassadors, scholars, residents of Palmyra,
I would like to thank you all for this wonderful humanitarian event today, this concert in Palmyra, now liberated from the terrorists. I see this event as a symbol of gratitude, memory and hope.
It expresses gratitude to all who fight terrorism at the cost of even their own lives, memory for all victims of terror, no matter where or when these crimes against humanity are committed, and, of course, hope, hope not only to restore Palmyra as part of humanity’s heritage, but to free today’s world from this terrible scourge of international terrorism.
To do this, each and every one of us must look at any success in the fight against terrorism as a common victory, and always, everywhere, must see any victim of terror as a personal loss and sorrow. Only with this attitude to this absolute evil will we be able to defeat it once and for all.
I know that today’s event involves great inconveniences and dangers for all taking part, the dangers associated with being in a country at war, and with military operations still going on not so far away. This demands great strength and effort on your part and certainly great courage.
A big thank you to all and I wish you good luck.
Maestro, you have the floor.