Archived page: may contain outdated information!

ICRC president ends visit to Saudi Arabia

19-05-2005 News Release 05/27

Geneva/Kuwait (ICRC) – Jakob Kellenberger, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), concluded a visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia yesterday evening.

During his three-day visit, he met the crown prince, deputy prime minister and commander of the National Guard, the second deputy prime minister, minister of defence and aviation and inspector general, and the governor of Riyadh. He also held talks with the vice-chairman of the Shura Council and with officials from the Saudi Arabian Red Crescent Society.

Mr Kellenberger’s visit, his second to the Kingdom since 2003, was an opportunity to update Saudi authorities on the ICRC’s humanitarian work – notably in the Occupied Territories, Sudan and Iraq – in the light of recent political developments and security challenges, and to discuss operational issues.

During the visit, the Saudi government reaffirmed its strong support for the ICRC and for the organization’s humanitarian activities worldwide.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between the ICRC, on the one hand, and the Saudi Arabian Red Crescent and the Saudi Committee for the Relief of the Palestinian People, on the other. Under this agreement, the Saudi Arabian Red Crescent will donate 1.1 million US dollars to ICRC assistance programmes for Palestinians in the West Bank.

Commenting on the positive outcome of this visit, the ICRC president was confident that it will further enhance cooperation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He welcomed the constructive dialogue and the openness of the talks with Saudi officials, while stressing the ICRC’s strong commitment to independent, neutral and impartial humanitarian action on behalf of people in conflict areas needing protection and assistance.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Dorothea Krimitsas, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++41 22 730 25 90 or ++41 79 251 93 18  

 Nada Doumani, ICRC Kuwait, tel. ++965 532 20 61 or ++ 965 908 75 29