After Syria trip, ICRC chief says Assad ‘aware of pressure from international environment’

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Eleven years after the start of the conflict in Syria, the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequences of the war in Ukraine have further worsened the economic situation of this war-torn country. FRANCE 24 interviewed Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, who recently met President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Maurer said Assad was “very aware of the international environment and the pressure it puts on Syria” and that the Syrian leader was “grateful for the humanitarian work” but “clear in his vision that things are not can’t go on like this”.

Asked about the situation in Ukraine, where the ICRC has been involved in setting up humanitarian corridors, Maurer said the organization “has managed in some places – Mariupol, Sumy and others – to reach difficult populations in ‘access. We have managed to do some things, but not enough, because trust between the parties is not enough to create more efficient, more open, safer humanitarian corridors for the population.

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