ICRC president heads to Syria for aid talks

By REUTERS
June 19, 2011 14:50




GENEVA - Jakob Kellenberger, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), will arrive in Damascus on Sunday for talks with Syrian officials on expanding its relief effort in the country, the aid agency said.

The two-day talks follow an appeal by the independent aid agency last week for greater access to the civilian population, including people who have been wounded or detained in a military crackdown on popular unrest.

"Talks will focus on the humanitarian situation in Syria and on the role the ICRC is ready to play in order to assist people affected by the ongoing violence," the ICRC said in a brief statement.

Syrian troops and gunmen loyal to President Bashar Assad stormed a town near the Turkish border on Saturday, burning houses and arresting dozens, witnesses said, in a persistent military campaign to crush popular revolt.


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