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ICRC president visits United Kingdom

08-03-2007 News Release 07/27

Geneva (ICRC) – Jakob Kellenberger, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has arrived in London for a one-day visit during which he will hold talks with Hilary Benn, secretary of state for international development, and Kim Howells, minister of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The talks are expected to focus on the humanitarian situation in some of the ICRC’s main areas of operations such as Israel and the Palestinian territories, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan's Darfur region, where the ICRC provides aid to more than half a million villagers and nomads and where Mr Kellenberger recently conducted a week-long visit.

Concerning Iraq, Mr Kellenberger will reiterate the ICRC's commitment, despite great security risks, to provide assistance for the civilian population and to continue its protection activities, such as the regular visits it carries out for more than 18,000 detainees. " There are blatant violations of international humanitarian law in Iraq and civilians are bearing the brunt of the conflict, " Mr Kellenberger said before his departure, adding that to be more effective, the ICRC needed to help Iraqis from within the country's borders.

Mr Kellenberger will also stress the relevance of international humanitarian law in today's conflicts and discuss ways to enhance its implementation.

For further information, please contact:
  Antonella Notari, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 22 82 or +41 79 217 32 80
  or visit our website: