On Monday (8 February), Foreign Minister Steinmeier made the following comments to the news portal Spiegel Online concerning the situation in Syria and the escalating situation at the Turkish-Syrian border:
The dramatic images reaching us from the Syrian-Turkish border show one thing: anyone who believes that a military solution can be imposed in Syria is wrong.
The last five years have demonstrated that military escalation by one side always provokes a response from the other. Signals of this kind are already coming again from the region.
It may be possible to momentarily shift the balance of power. But everyone should realise that ultimately this does not bring us any closer to an end to the conflict. On the contrary, it merely paves the way for five more years of civil war, further destruction, new waves of refugees, and it plays into the hands of the IS terrorists. No-one, including Russia, can want that.
Peace can only come to Syria via the negotiating table in Geneva, via the implementation of Security Council resolutions. All those who are committed to this negotiating process and have assumed responsibility for it in the Security Council must help to move it forward.