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Experts and government delegates from around the world will gather in the Gulf Friday, seeking to build a global alliance to protect cultural heritage threatened by extremism and conflict. France and the United Arab Emirates are leading the initiative at a conference in Abu Dhabi to establish an international partnership that could respond to dangers such as Daesh (ISIS) militants rampaging through ancient historical sites in Iraq and Syria.The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization says that 55 out of a total of 1,052 heritage sites around the world are now listed as World Heritage in Danger.Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Afghanistan's Ashraf Ghani are expected to be among the heads of state attending the two-day conference. Both their countries have seen cultural heritage destroyed by extremist Islamists.
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