Federal Minister Steinmeier: We need a fresh start in the Middle East peace process

25.06.2009 - Press release

Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier met Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Abdallah Dardari this morning (25 June).

Their discussion focused on the Middle East peace process, German-Syrian relations and regional issues.

Federal Minister Steinmeier underlined the need for rapid progress in the Middle East peace process. What was needed now, he said, was to achieve the resumption of direct peace talks in the Middle East. It was important, Steinmeier stressed, to strengthen the moderate forces in the region and to actively include them in the peace efforts. Syria, too, had to play its part in this. Deputy Prime Minister Dardari emphasized the EU's major role in the Middle East.

Both saw the elections in Lebanon as a further crucial step on the road to greater political stabilization. In this regard Minister Steinmeier welcomed the exchange of ambassadors and the establishment of diplomatic relations between Syria and Lebanon. This, he said, was a major contribution towards stability in the region as a whole.

Federal Minister Steinmeier also touched on the issue of human rights in Syria, expressly calling for the release of detained Syrian civil rights activists and opposition politicians.

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