ICRC PRESIDENT VISITS THE SOUTHERN CAUCASUS

A1+
[01:32 pm] 03 April, 2006

Geneva (ICRC) - Jakob Kellenberger, president of the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has arrived in Azerbaijan for a
two-day visit at the invitation of the Azerbaijani government. This
visit will be followed by visits to Georgia and Armenia. The ICRC
president will hold talks with the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham
Aliyev, the president of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan, the speaker
of the Georgian parliament, Nino Burjanadze, the prime minister of
Georgia, Zurab Noghaideli, and various members of the governments of
the three countries.

The talks are expected to focus on missing persons and their families,
the conditions of people detained in relation to the unresolved
conflicts of Nagorny Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia and other
humanitarian issues. Training of the Armed Forces in international
humanitarian law and its application will also be discussed. In
addition, the ICRC president will make visits to ICRC-supported
projects in the field.

During his visit to the Southern Caucasus, the ICRC President will
meet the presidents of the Azerbaijani Red Crescent and the Georgian
and Armenian Red Cross Societies.

The ICRC has maintained a constant presence in the Southern Caucasus
since 1992 assisting and protecting people and communities affected by
the armed conflicts of the region. The organization currently focuses
on establishing the fate of missing persons and helping their families,
visiting people in detention, and protecting and assisting the civilian
population living close to areas still affected by the conflicts.

The ICRC's activities in the region also include programmes to
control the spread of tuberculosis in prisons, promote international
humanitarian law and build up the capacities of the local Red Cross
and Red Crescent Societies.