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Foreign Minister Steinmeier on Russian air attacks in Syria

30.09.2015

Speaking on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly in New York today (30 September), Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement on Russia’s air attacks in Syria:

The latest news of Russian air strikes does nothing to lessen my concern about the situation in Syria.

As yet we have no reliable information about the targets or methods. Russia itself must have an interest in clarifying the situation as quickly as possible.

In this heated situation, there is a great danger that further misunderstandings may arise.

In the light of what has happened tonight, all I can do is quote Russia’s Foreign Minister himself, who said here in New York this morning that if you want to defuse the situation then everyone has to help ensure that the international efforts in the fight against ISIS are coordinated. This applies to Russian activities too. So I hope that what happened doesn’t mean that all the doors we have worked so hard to open in recent days – not least in the talks between President Obama and President Putin – have slammed shut again.

The fact remains that a military solution alone will not resolve this conflict. Rather, we must now seek out ways to move towards a political process. In this we need the US and Russia, the Arab neighbours, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and Europe.

We successfully got through another process of negotiations, with Iran, which lasted several years, and in the course of which trust was established. This is a good platform on which we can build to tackle what I hope is still the possible solution of the Syria conflict.

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