ICRC says has Syria nod to expand aid, visit prisoners

April 5, 2012 15:35


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GENEVA - Syria has agreed to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to expand its work in the country and seek a pause in the fighting when needed to evacuate the wounded, the agency said on Thursday.

"This means that we will have to rapidly build up our human resources and logistical capacity in Syria," ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger said in a statement issued at the end of his visit to Damascus, where he met several ministers.

ICRC officials would resume visits to detention centers, stalled since September, with a visit planned to detainees in custody at Aleppo central prison, the statement said.

Syrian officials and Kellenberger also reached an agreement on a procedure under which the agency could request a humanitarian pause in the fighting in an area so as to evacuate the wounded and bring in supplies, spokesman Hicham Hassan said.

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