Russian defense minister urges intl organizations to step up Syria aid efforts

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has called on international humanitarian organizations to take more active actions to provide aid for Syrians. The minister made the statement at a meeting with the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, on the eve of the Seventh Moscow Conference on Global Security. Shoigu said the Russian military helps the ICRC, which is doing a lot in Syria. However, currently there is need for more active efforts from international humanitarian organizations, he noted, referring to the ICRC, the UN agency for refugees, the World Health Organization and others. During the Moscow conference, further steps to normalize the situation in Syria will be discussed, including rendering assistance to the peaceful population in the country, Shoigu said.