On Sunday (20 September), Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier received his US counterpart John Kerry in Berlin. Their talks focused on the situation in Syria and refugee policy.
Putting an end to the killing in Syria was a “political and moral duty”, said Foreign Minister Steinmeier following the consultations with his US counterpart in Berlin. According to Steinmeier, they agreed that now the only way to stop the civil war in Syria was to launch a new political and diplomatic initiative “as soon as possible”.
Syria – putting an end to the killing
However, this could only be successful if “all-too narrowly defined national interests” were set aside and the international community adopted a joint stance together with Turkey as well as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia. In this regard, Steinmeier welcomed the talks on Syria between the US and Russia which began recently.
Both Ministers highlighted the need to improve the humanitarian situation of Syrian refugees in the region. After the meeting, Kerry announced that the US would take in more refugees from Syria in the future. At the press conference, the US Secretary of State also stressed that in the refugee crisis Germany was an “example to the world”. Prior to their consultations, Steinmeier and Kerry had met Syrian refugees who have found refuge in Germany.
Foreign Minister Steinmeier thanked his American colleague for the close coordination and cooperation on foreign policy matters to date. In connection with this, he recalled the joint negotiations within the framework of the E3+3 group which led to an agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme. For his part, US Foreign Minister Kerry paid tribute to the close partnership and friendship between Germany and the United States.
Kerry’s visit to Berlin was part of the ongoing close coordination between Germany and the US on foreign policy questions.