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Shafaq News/ The Israeli newspaper "Jerusalem Post" criticized the continued ambiguity surrounding the case of the Israeli-Russian Elizabeth Tsurkov, whom Israel says was kidnapped in Iraq last March, at a time when Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani is visiting New York, where he is holding meetings and holding talks with... American and Western officials and others.
Al-Sudani said in an interview with the American network CNN from New York that: “Our security services are concerned with ensuring security for all those arriving to Iraq, and the woman who entered Iraq with a Russian passport disappeared months ago. We are following the disappearance process, and we are serious about revealing her fate, and we will not be lenient.” With this matter, Iraq hosts tourist delegations and foreign companies, and the issue of security is a priority and cannot be tolerated.
The report, translated by Shafaq News Agency, quoted the former Israeli minister, Natan Sharansky, a former prisoner in the Soviet Union, as saying, “The Iraqi government must feel that it (Tsurkov) is its responsibility, because the organization that kidnapped her is, in the end, part of the government.” ".
The report indicated that Sharansky, who was imprisoned for 9 years on charges of espionage, spoke about Tsurkov’s father, saying that he “spent many years with him in the Soviet prison, and in my book titled (Do Not Fear Evil) you can read a lot about him. He was her father and her mother.” Two political prisoners in the Soviet Union since their early years.
Now the report indicates that their daughter, Elizabeth Tsurkov, is being held in Iraq. Sharansky was quoted as saying, “As far as we know, she is still alive, the Iraqi government is responsible, and she is receiving significant financial aid from America. Lisa (Tsurkov) came to do research from Princeton University and was positive toward the people of Iraq and the Islamic world in general. It is legitimate and natural.” "We expect the American administration to exploit its relations with the Iraqi government."
The report pointed out that Al-Sudani is discussing US-Iraqi relations before the US Council on Foreign Relations Institute in New York, as part of his visit to the United Nations, adding that Al-Sudani's visit is being highlighted because of the Tsurkov case.
He pointed out that last week, the American Public Broadcasting Corporation (PBS) hosted a dialogue on the Tsurkov case, in which her sister Emma Tsurkov also participated, discussing the efforts being made to return her to her homeland.
Despite this, the report said that Al-Sudani did not address the calls directed to Baghdad to find Tsurkov and release her, but he met the Secretary-General of NATO in New York and invited him to visit Iraq, in appreciation of “NATO’s support in the war against ISIS, military training, advice, and capacity building.” Al-Sudani also met with officials from the White House, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meetings, where they discussed "relations between Iraq and the United States and ways to strengthen and develop them in various fields."
After the report mentioned a statement by Lema Tsurkov in which she said that she was not satisfied with the level of American intervention in her sister’s case, considering that Washington should “use its influence” on Iraq, it pointed out that members of Congress, Senator Eric Solwell, Representative Robert Menendez, and Representative Cory Booker, asked the US State Department to More efforts are being made, considering that it seems incomprehensible that a country that receives support from the United States has not been able to find a missing researcher associated with a prestigious university such as Princeton. The report went on to say that this is not the first time that the Hezbollah Brigades and other militias in Iraq, many of which are linked to Iran, have been accused of committing kidnappings and extrajudicial attacks.
In response to a question about whether sufficient efforts have been made to secure her release, Sharansky said, “It will never be enough until she is released,” adding that it is important to focus on Iraq. He continued, saying, "In the days of the struggle for Soviet Jews, my position has always been that quiet diplomacy cannot succeed unless there is popular pressure at the same time."
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