Today (17 February), on the fringes of the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bonn, Foreign Minister Gabriel met colleagues in a smaller format to discuss the most recent developments in Syria. After the meeting, the German Foreign Minister spoke of “momentum” for the continuation of the political negotiations in Geneva.
The focus was on the most recent developments in Syria as well as the question of how to make progress on finding a political solution to the conflict.
Situation in Syria remains dramatic
After the meeting, Foreign Minister Gabriel said that with regard to the situation in Syria “a good portion of realism was needed”, as had become clear once again during the talks. He said that the ceasefire remained precarious and fragile and the humanitarian situation was still “disastrous”.
Support for Geneva negotiations under the auspices of the UN
Foreign Minister Gabriel stated that it had become clear “that all those who came together definitely desire a political solution, because a military solution alone will not lead to peace in Syria. And that this political solution must be achieved through the Geneva negotiations ‑ under the auspices of the United Nations.”
Another round of peace talks under the auspices of the UN is due to begin in Geneva on Thursday (23 February). Gabriel said that the path leading to a resolution of the conflict was still long. “But everyone has pledged their support to it, specifically also those who were new to the group”, including the new United States Secretary of State Tillerson. Gabriel added that they had “performed good groundwork for Geneva” and had agreed to meet regularly in that format.
G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting: shaping an interconnected world
The meeting of Foreign Ministers in Bonn was organised by Germany as part of its G20 Presidency. The major event of this year’s Presidency will be the summit meeting of G20 Heads of State and Government in Hamburg on 7 and 8 July.