Following the decision by the Syrian opposition’s National Coalition to attend the Montreux conference, Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin this evening (18 January):
“This is the right decision, even though I can understand that for many opposition members it was a difficult one to take. For people in Syria to whom civil war and displacement have brought so much suffering, Montreux offers a small ray of hope.
We must make sure the Syria conference isn’t a one‑off affair but a process in which we explore systematically and patiently how headway might be made towards a political solution. Even the slightest progress on humanitarian access or local ceasefires would count as a success.”