SNC Meets with President of the ICRC

A delegation from the Syrian National Council (SNC) met today with Jakob Kellenberger, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva, Switzerland. The SNC delegation was headed by Dr. Bassma Kodmani, SNC Executive Committee member and Head of Foreign Affairs. The meeting was also attended by Beatrice Megevand-Roggo, the ICNC’s head of Middle East and North Africa operations, who examined the field situation in Homs three weeks ago.

This meeting was held in response to the demands of the residents of Homs, in particular Baba Amr, to assess all the relief and humanitarian aid capabilities and options that might be provided to Homs residents, who have been suffering under the bombing and brutality of the Assad regime for weeks.

During the meeting, the parties discussed the ICRC’s plan to have the regime halt its operations for a certain period of time, on a daily basis, to deliver relief and medical assistance to the disaster-stricken areas and to transport the injured for treatment in clinics outside Homs. The SNC delegation supported this initiative and proposed to establish humanitarian corridors to protect civilians or set up relief crossing points along the borders. The SNC delegation also discussed whether the ICRC was prepared to cooperate with the SNC if there was political and international support for the proposed ideas. These proposals are among those the SNC will present during the “Friends of Syria” conference in Tunisia this Friday. During the meeting, the parties also discussed the importance of convincing Russia to support the initiative for humanitarian aid corridors as a means of pressuring the Syrian regime to not target international relief convoys.

The SNC delegation also requested that Homs be declared a disaster area as a means of pressuring world powers to take on the responsibility of protecting the Syrian people from the brutality to which they are continually being exposed. The SNC delegation indicated that it would also raise this topic at the Tunisia conference.

The two parties agreed to continue cooperative efforts, whereby the SNC will periodically provide the ICRC with reports from the ground regarding humanitarian and medical needs. The SNC will obtain these reports through its activist network in Syria.

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