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Red Cross needs security guarantees to operate in Eastern Aleppo

November 21, 2016, 18:17 UTC+3 GENEVA

The committee hasn't been able to bring aid to Estern Aleppo since April 2016, ICRC President Peter Maurer said

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GENEVA, November 21. /TASS/. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) needs "security guarantees from all sides" to operate in Eastern Aleppo, ICRC President Peter Maurer told TASS on Monday.

When asked how the efficiency of humanitarian activities in Eastern Aleppo could be improved, since the UN had been unable to deliver humanitarian aid there despite the humanitarian pauses repeatedly initiated by Russia, Maurer noted that "the humanitarian situation in Aleppo remains alarming." "Civilians continue to bear the brunt of suffering," he added.

"We know the health, water and sanitation situation in Eastern Aleppo and we need to bring in supplies, including medical equipment and spare parts to repair networks," Maurer said.

"We haven’t been able to bring aid to Eastern Aleppo since April 2016. We need security guarantees from all sides and unimpeded access to all parts of the city," the ICRC president stressed.

"Humanitarian response to the needs of the people who are suffering from the ongoing fighting should not be used at any point to achieve political gains," Maurer said. "Ceasefire or not, we need to be able to act and provide relief to the communities affected by the fighting," he added.

The ICRC president went on to say that "all parties to the conflict and all those who have influence on them - they must respect and ensure that international humanitarian law is respected. "The warring parties must bear in mind the direct and indirect effect of their attacks on Syria’s battered infrastructure, in particular on healthcare facilities and water installations which are often hit several times," Maurer noted. "The ICRC urges all parties to avoid the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact in densely populated areas due to the significant likelihood of indiscriminate effects," he concluded.

As a source in the ICRC Geneva Headquarters told TASS on Monday, Maurer would visit Moscow on November 23-25. He plans to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in particular.

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