Word for word: Foreign Minister Steinmeier about the current refugee situation

07.09.2015 - Press release

Foreign Minister Steinmeier spoke to the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung about the current refugee situation:

Tackling the refugee crisis is a huge task facing us in Germany and Europe, and there are no simple solutions or standard formulas. We cannot meet this historic challenge without a massive joint effort at all levels – in local authorities, individual states and the EU.

It is therefore all the more important to resist being driven apart in this difficult situation. After our intensive discussions at the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, we have cause for a little more optimism on that score. Even among previously more sceptical partners, there seems to be a growing readiness to play a role in joint European responses to deal with the refugee crisis.

However, it is still an illusion to think that we can get a grip on that crisis without a really comprehensive and differentiating approach. In all our efforts, we must not forget the people who are currently considering embarking on the extremely dangerous and risky journey to Europe from refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan. We have to do even more in collaboration with our partners to create fresh prospects for them in the places currently sheltering them. That means, for example, supporting the UN efforts to stabilise Libya and the endeavour to launch a real peace process in Syria, which may for the first time in a long time have a chance of success now that agreement has been reached in the nuclear dispute with Iran.

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