On the margins of his visit to Riyadh, Foreign Minister Frank‑Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement on 3 February on the suspension of the Syria talks in Geneva:
It had become ever more apparent in the last few days just how much strain the talks in Geneva were under because of the Syrian army’s military offensive in Aleppo and the lack of willingness displayed by the Assad regime to actually allow humanitarian access to the besieged cities and villages.
Nevertheless, there is no alternative to the Vienna process and the Geneva negotiations on a political settlement. Therefore, the states taking part in the Vienna process must now work as hard as they can to create the framework conditions to enable tangible progress to be made by continuing the Geneva negotiations.
The next opportunity to act in concert with the regional stakeholders will come on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.