Roma beat Palermo, Inter move top of Serie A    Boko Haram suicide attacks in Niger kill at least four    Al Baraka Bank Egypt to pump $38m in power, petroleum sectors    Russia cannot fight Islamic State and support Assad in Syria: Britain says    Mourinho the best man for Chelsea, says captain Terry    Egyptian pound steady at dollar sale, on parallel market    Assad says Syria, allies will defeat terrorism, failure would be devastating    Loud noise exposure linked to heart disease risk    Egypt's parliamentary elections: More seats, fewer candidates    Seven electoral lists run in first stage of Egypt's parliamentary elections: HEC    Criminal court sentences two ‘Ultras Rabaawy' Morsi supporters to death    Merkel says military efforts needed in Syria but they won't end war    Investors brace for stocks to fall again ahead of earnings    Egypt's CPA bans Etisalat ad for promoting domestic abuse    Egypt coach Cuper calls for football fans return    Ethiopia aims to grow tourism threefold in five years: Minister    The Mecca stampede: Unanswered questions and grief    INTERVIEW: Egypt's antiquities minister speaks on the search for Nefertiti in Tutankhamun's tomb    Proverb of the day: The sign of the end of times is when you drink from the wall and see light on a thread علامة القيامة لما تشرب من الحيط و تشوف النور في الخيط    Live score: Palermo v Roma (Italy Serie A)    Egypt's bourse to close Tuesday for national holiday    Greece must stick to program to exit bailout: PM    Egypt says Russia's intervention in Syria will counter terrorism    Russia to step up air strikes in Syria    Picture of the day: Fishing in Fayoum, Egypt's largest oasis city    Son of senior Brotherhood figure El-Beltagy sentenced to five years jail    Seven electoral lists run in first stage of Egypt's parliamentary elections: HEC    Proverb of the day: Like a chicken, his sustenance is under his feet زي الفراخ رزقه تحت رجليه    Coke, McDonald's join sponsor call for FIFA's Blatter to resign    Egypt pledges fast work amid search for Nefertiti's tomb    Afghan actress urges Afghan women to keep working    Exploring Egypt    Pressing Cairo's agenda    Meccan calls for Islamic renewal    A meatless feast?    Sufra Dayma: Fish fingers    Zamalek do the double    In need of comebacks    Tawadros' visit unrelated to GERD    Money talks    The IS factor    Assyria calling    New discoveries in the Valley of the Kings?    Return of football fans essential: Egyptian Tycoon Naguib Sawiris    Egypt's lost Queen Nefertiti may lie concealed in King Tut's tomb    Iran says death toll doubled to 464 in Hajj stampede    Egypt: After the presidential pardons    Egypt-US ties have 'become stronger'; says Sisi    

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Red Cross chief in Syria to discuss aid with Assad
Published in Arab News Agency on 04 - 09 - 2012

Peter Maurer, Red cross chief
Red Cross chief Peter Maurer was in Damascus on Tuesday for talks with President Bashar Al-Assad and other officials on ways to get humanitarian aid to Syrians caught up in the civil war, a spokeswoman said.
Maurer "arrived yesterday evening in Damascus for his first visit since his appointment as successor to Jakob Kellenberger from 1 July," said International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) spokeswoman in Damascus Rabab Rifai.
Besides Assad, Maurer will meet with Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, Interior Minister Mohammad Al-Shaar, Health Minister Saad Nayef Abdessalam and minister of state for national reconciliation, Ali Haidar, said Rifai, but gave no timings for the meetings.
Maurer's mission will "focus on increased humanitarian needs and to remind the belligerents of their obligation under international law related to the protection of civilians" in particular, said Rifai.
Maurer, who is in Syria until Thursday, will not meet representatives of the opposition "at least under the framework of this visit," she said, adding however that he could make a "field trip."
In a statement issued Monday in Geneva, Maurer said: "At a time when more and more civilians are being exposed to extreme violence, it is of the utmost importance that we and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent succeed in significantly scaling up our humanitarian response."
"It is vital that we build on what has already been achieved on the ground," he added.
His talks with Syrian officials will largely deal with the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria, as well as the difficulties the ICRC and the Red Crescent face as they try to reach people affected by the armed conflict, the ICRC said.
Maurer said he planned to bring up points agreed with the Syrian regime in April, including "expanded access to persons detained in Syria and the imperative necessity of helping civilians affected by hostilities".
Despite the difficult working conditions, the ICRC said it and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent had provided nearly 180,000 people with food in the hardest-hit parts of the country since mid-July.
Since the beginning of the year, the two organisations have provided relief items to more than 800,000 people and have helped more than one million people access clean water, it added.

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