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ICRC seeks Russian assistance on Syria

The humanitarian situation in Syria is likely to get worse, the head of the Swiss-run International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Monday.

This content was published on March 19, 2012 - 15:52
swissinfo.ch and agencies

However, after a 90-minute meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Jakob Kellenberger said Lavrov voiced clear support for a plan for daily humanitarian ceasefires in Syria and promised Russia would press President Bashar Assad’s government to accept it.

Lavrov “clearly agreed to and was supportive of” the idea of a daily two-hour cessation of hostilities to allow for life-saving aid operations, Kellenberger told Reuters.

Asked whether Lavrov had promised that Russia would pressure Syria's government on the plan, he said, “Yes, very much so”.

  

Russia's close ties with Syria make it one of the few countries left with any leverage over President Bashar Assad.

Some 8,000 people are thought to have been killed in the year-long uprising against Assad. Russia, along with China, has vetoed proposals at the United Nations to condemn Assad’s regime.

On Saturday up to three explosions in the Syrian capital of Damascus killed around 30 people and wounded at least 100, according to state media reports.

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