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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia Seeks Red Cross Cooperation on Syria

RIA Novosti

16:26 19/03/2012 MOSCOW, March 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russia seeks further cooperation with the International Red Cross, especially on joint efforts to settle the humanitarian problems in conflict-torn Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday, in comments on Peter Maurer's upcoming tenure as head of the organization.

“I can tell you that we are interested in further cooperation in implementing international humanitarian law. We are hopeful that the good traditions set up during your tenure will be upheld by your successor Mr. Maurer, who will assume the office in June,” Lavrov said at a meeting with incumbent Red Cross Chief Jakob Kellenberge.

Lavrov said he and Kellenberge would mull joint efforts to help Syrian civilians.

Red Cross and Syrian Red Crescent have won partial permission to evacuate people from combat zones. In early March, Red Cross and Red Crescent ambulances entered the besieged Homs district of Baba Amro and evacuated seven Syrians wounded in shelling by regime forces.

According to UN estimates, more than 8,000 people have lost their lives in Syria since the outbreak of an uprising against President Bashar Al-Assad a year ago. The bloodshed has provoked an international outcry, with human rights groups blaming the Syrian government for its crackdown on civilian protesters. The Assad regime insists it has been fighting “armed gangs” and “terrorists” affiliated with al-Qaeda.

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