Foreign Minister Steinmeier spoke to UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura on the phone this morning (31 January). The Special Envoy asked Foreign Minister Steinmeier for the support of German diplomats in the negotiations. Foreign Minister Steinmeier assured de Mistura of Germany's assistance.
Both men emphasised the urgent need for tangible and real progress on the humanitarian situation, particularly in terms of access to besieged areas and the release of prisoners. Foreign Minister Steinmeier highlighted ongoing attacks on civilians by the Syrian regime are the greatest obstacle to the process. Steinmeier and de Mistura agreed that, despite all the difficulties involved, negotiations remained the only way to finally put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people. Without negotiations, there will be no end to the bloodshed, the unspeakable suffering and the terrible atrocities; all involved parties must understand that.