Saudi Arabia: ICRC president calls for increased dialogue and cooperation

21 December 2015

Kuwait (ICRC) – Today the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, concluded his visit to Riyadh, where he met with the Supervisor-General of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid & Relief Centre, the president of the Saudi Red Crescent and the Saudi foreign minister.

In his meeting with Dr Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Rabiah, supervisor-general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid & Relief Centre, Mr Maurer underlined the "need to take a neutral and independent approach to providing aid in order to be able reach people in need and protect and assist them." They also discussed a possible partnership aimed at finding more effective ways of distributing aid impartially and, ultimately, alleviating the suffering of people in Yemen affected by the conflict.

Mr Maurer also met with the president of the Saudi Red Crescent, HRH Prince Faisal bin Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz. During the meeting, Mr Maurer underscored the importance of the entire International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement working together to help those in need. "In today's rapidly changing world, we must join forces if we are to face the challenges of tomorrow and continue to be able to help those in need," said Mr Maurer.

Speaking with the minister for foreign affairs – Mr Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir – Mr Maurer emphasized the "need to pursue dialogue and boost cooperation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the ICRC" in light of the ongoing conflicts in Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East. "My visit has broadened the scope of our dialogue with the Saudi Arabian authorities on the humanitarian situation in Yemen. We at the ICRC welcome all initiatives that could ultimately ease the suffering of the Yemeni people," he added. He also stressed that international humanitarian law applies to the conflict in Yemen and that all parties are required to abide by it.

For further information, please contact:
Fouad Bawaba, ICRC Kuwait, tel: +965 9787 9434 or +965 253 22062