Shortly before leaving for the UN General Assembly in New York, Foreign Minister Westerwelle has met with former Syrian Prime Minister Riad Hijab at the Federal Foreign Office. In August 2012 Hijab fled from Syria.
Minister Westerwelle told Hijab that he respected his decision to end his allegiance to Assad, leave Syria and join the opposition. He praised Hijab’s efforts to promote more unity among the various Syrian opposition forces at home and abroad.
It was agreed that everything possible must be done to counter the further military escalation of the conflict by the Assad regime.
Minister Westerwelle and Riad Hijab also agreed to increase efforts to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. Hijab expressed appreciation for the generous humanitarian aid provided by Germany.
The Foreign Minister said that in New York he intended to continue working hard to promote a political solution to the conflict in Syria. For that to happen, it is necessary that the opposition agree quickly on a joint platform that offers a credible, inclusive and democratic alternative to the Assad regime.