ICRC president visits Kuwait

ICRC President Peter Maurer

KUWAIT: HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah is "genuinely interested" in humanitarian issues, and believes action in this domain has to be detached from politics, ICRC President Peter Maurer said late Wednesday. "His Highness the Amir is a leader who is genuinely interested in humanitarian issues. He is not one of those leaders who pretends to be interested in humanitarian issues for his own image," Maurer, who heads the International Committee of Red Cross, said in an interview with KUNA.

Maurer was on a visit to Kuwait and met HH the Amir, First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, President of Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) Dr Hilal Al-Sayer and Chairman of the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO) and Advisor to the Amiri Diwan Dr Abdullah Al-Maatouq. He thanked

HH Sheikh Sabah for the great contribution of Kuwait over the last four years, particularly in Syria and Iraq.

Kuwait hosted three conferences and co-chaired a fourth one, helping Syrians affected by the ongoing crisis in their country since 2011, said the official, adding that Kuwait contributed over $3 billion to help them. Kuwait has also been offering humanitarian assistance for the Iraqi people, affirmed the ICRC president. HH the Amir has a "very clear conviction that humanitarian action has to be distinct from political action, and this is immensely helpful today because many actors are politicizing the conflicts," asserted Maurer.

He said that he provided detailed account of how ICRC spent the funds offered by Kuwait over the past three and half years, and His Highness the Amir emphasized "such a clear commitment to humanitarian values and principles, which is a strength to the ICRC." Maurer said Kuwait, whose relations with ICRC are 26 years old, understood the importance of respecting the law, reunifying families, searching for the missing people and humane treatment of detainees, principles that ICRC followed.

Maurer, who flew to Kuwait from Iraq, also said he discussed with the Kuwaiti officials ICRC's keenness to provide educational services in Somalia, as Kuwait was preparing to host an international conference on education in the African country. Maurer, meanwhile, said his visit to Iraq helped create an understanding of the ICRC mission. He said Kuwait Red Crescent Society donated food parcels that ICRC was distributing in Iraq, part of KRCS's humanitarian contributions to the needy throughout the region. - KUNA