- - Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The one point that struck me upon arrival here in Ashraf 3 … all the flags that are out there of so many countries that are represented here. What a change. What a change compared with a bit more than 10 years ago when I arrived as the U.N. Special Representative for Iraq. It was hardly part of my brief that there was such a thing as Ashraf.

But it was a time in 2009 that Ashraf got suddenly under attack. Ruthless attack. And I remember the pictures that the U.N. team had to take of the victims and of the destruction. The pictures that we see now in your impressive exhibition. And it happened in 2009, it happened in 2011, it happened in 2013. And I am proud that we started to open the eyes of the international community for what was going on in Ashraf, and to open the eyes of the international community when Ashraf moved to what is rightly called prison, Liberty.

And this is my message to you: Your resolve has brought about being here in Ashraf 3, seeing all the flags that are welcoming us visitors from the whole world who support your cause. And I’m sure these flags will fly in the new Ashraf soon to come.

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