The new head of the International Committee of the Red Cross said Friday he has received positive commitments from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, but stressed the promises needed to be tested in coming weeks.
"President al-Assad agreed on the necessity of urgently boosting humanitarian aid by making it easier to bring in goods that would enable us to step up our activities and adequately respond to the needs that have been growing with gathering speed," ICRC chief Peter Maurer said in a statement.
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He said he had also discussed with Assad this week the ICRC's "outstanding request to visit all persons detained in Syria in connection with the current events."
"President al-Assad expressed his readiness to address this issue," he said.
However, Maurer added that "the positive commitments I received during my meetings will obviously have to be followed up and tested in the coming weeks."