Red Cross president meets with Hamas leader in Qatar

Red Cross President Spoljaric Egger attends a briefing in Geneva

GENEVA (Reuters) - The International Red Cross president travelled to Qatar on Monday to meet with the leader of Palestinian group Hamas to "advance humanitarian issues" related to the group's conflict with Israel, the Geneva-based body said in a statement.

President Mirjana Spoljaric met with Ismail Haniyeh, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said, and also met separately with Qatari authorities which are acting as mediators in the conflict.

The ICRC, a neutral intermediary which is providing aid to Gaza and has helped escort hostages and patients from the enclave, said that the meeting was part of discussions with all sides to the conflict to improve respect for international humanitarian law.

It added that it was not part of negotiations aimed at releasing more than 200 hostages seized by Hamas during their deadly incursion into Israel on Oct. 7.

(Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Sandra Maler)