New Red Cross emblem paves way for Israel
Updated: 2005-12-08 09:20
Delegates to an international conference accepted a new Red Cross emblem
Thursday despite Syrian objections, paving the way for Israel to join the
humanitarian movement after nearly six decades of exclusion.
The 192 signatories of the Geneva
Conventions approved the new "red crystal" emblem by vote after last-ditch
negotiations between Israel and Syria over Damascus' demands for humanitarian
access to Syrian citizens in the Golan Heights broke down.
Swiss ambassador at large, Didier Phirte,
center, gestures as he announces that the international conference
approves a new 'red crystal' emblem, paving the way for Israel to join the
Red Cross movement in Geneva, Switzerland, early morning Thursday, Dec 8,
"I can inform you that the protocol has just been adopted," said Didier
Pfirter, a Swiss diplomat who has been coordinating global efforts to muster
support for the new emblem that would enable Israel to join the movement without
having to use the red cross or Muslim red crescent already in use.
"Unfortunately, it has not been possible to adopt the protocol by consensus,
but it has been adopted by a clear majority," said Pfirter, adding that he still
did not have the exact vote count.