Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement today (24 September) prior to his trip to Paris for a meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond and EU High Representative Federica Mogherini:
I am travelling to Paris today to discuss possible ways out of the crisis in Syria together with the French Foreign Minister, British Foreign Secretary and the EU High Representative. All of the attempts made so far have failed owing to the irreconcilable positions of actors in the region and the stance adopted by the Syrian regime.
After five years of civil war, 250,000 dead and 12 million refugees, we must now take decisive steps towards de-escalating this conflict. Divergent interests may no longer stand in the way of joint action on the part of the international community. There will be no military solution to the internal conflicts in Syria. What we urgently need now is a joint initiative to ensure that Syria remains a united and secular state in the future.
UN Special Envoy Staffan De Mistura has worked tirelessly on the preparations for this in recent weeks. The aim now is to seek out ways to move towards a political process.