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Georgia/Russian Federation: ICRC president to visit conflict-affected areas

16-08-2008 News Release 08/150

Geneva/Tbilisi/Moscow (ICRC) – The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Jakob Kellenberger, will travel to Georgia and the Russian Federation starting on 17 August to assess the impact in humanitarian terms of the armed conflict involving Georgian, Russian and South Ossetian troops.

Mr Kellenberger will arrive in the Georgian capital Tbilisi on Sunday for talks with President Mikheil Saakashvili.

On Tuesday, the ICRC president is expected to meet senior officials of the Russian Federation, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in Moscow.

He will also travel to Vladikavkaz in North Ossetia and Tskhinvali in South Ossetia for meetings there.

During his discussions, Mr Kellenberger will stress the ICRC's ability to come to the aid of the most vulnerable on all sides, especially those who have been forced to flee their homes due to the fighting or who remain isolated and in need of help.

President Kellenberger will also underscore the importance of ensuring that all those affected by the conflict – especially civilians and people captured or arrested in connection with the hostilities – are protected in accordance with international humanitarian law.

For further information, please contact:
  Jessica Barry, Maia Kardava, ICRC Tbilisi, tel. +995 32 35 55 10 or +995 91 60 06 89; +995 91 60 06 85 (mobiles)
  Yuri Shafarenko, ICRC Vladikavkaz, tel. +7 867 253 0737 or +7 903 545 3534 (mobile)
  David-Pierre Marquet, ICRC Moscow, tel. +7 495 626 5426 or +7 906 708 4637 (mobile)
  Claudia McGoldrick, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 79 217 3216 (mobile)