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Kuwait leads humanitarian efforts in Mideast: ICRC chief

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah meets with President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer. —Amiri Diwan and KUNA photo

KUWAIT: President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer underscored the importance of Kuwait’s leading humanitarian role in the Middle East. Maurer, who is paying a one-day official visit to Kuwait, stressed in a press statement the urgent need for the international community to unify and scale up its efforts in order to respond to current humanitarian challenges.

On the visit to Kuwait, he said: “This visit highlights ICRC’s strategic ties and partnership with the State of Kuwait to respond to the humanitarian needs of the victims of armed conflicts and other situations of violence worldwide.” During his stay in Kuwait, Maurer has met with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and thanked him for Kuwait’s generous financial contributions and diplomatic support to ICRC’s humanitarian efforts in the Middle East.
Maurer and His Highness the Amir exchanged views on the dire humanitarian situation in conflict-affected countries in the region. Maurer reaffirmed ICRC’s commitment to neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian action. The ICRC chief also offered His Highness the Amir a memorial shield in recognition of his leading humanitarian role.

Furthermore, Maurer met with First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and expressed his appreciation for the continuous diplomatic and financial support of the Kuwaiti government. During the meeting, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled praised ICRC’s humanitarian efforts, especially those which focus on finding Kuwaiti missing persons and POWs in Iraq since 1991.

In addition, Maurer met with President of the Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) Dr Hilal Al-Sayer and underlined KRCS’s distinguished role in various humanitarian response operations worldwide and expressed his appreciation of KRCS’s support to ICRC’s operations and the successful collaboration between both institutions.
He also met with Chairman of the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO) and Advisor to the Amiri Diwan Dr Abdullah Al-Maatouq and acknowledged IICO’s valuable work and expressed his gratitude for the organization’s support to ICRC’s operations in the region.

Maurer’s last visit to Kuwait was in 2015. ICRC has been in Kuwait since the 1990-91 Gulf War. It focuses on humanitarian needs remaining from that war or arising from current armed conflicts and other situations of violence in the wider region. – KUNA

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