Speaking on the margins of his visit to Kyiv, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier commented as follows on the evening of 22 February on the announcement of a ceasefire in Syria:
Following the agreements reached in Munich between the Vienna process parties, ten days of intensive negotiations behind the scenes without major public statements have now produced results.
We have not yet achieved our goal. However, a robust agreement on reducing the violence and halting the fighting – as agreed in Munich – is now very close at hand, closer than it has been in years.
Each of the Vienna process powers must be aware of what is at stake. Any of the parties to the conflict in Syria that does not adhere to the ceasefire from Friday night clearly does not have an interest in a political settlement and must expect a united and resolute reaction by the international community.
It would be an urgently needed success and a genuine glimmer of hope for the people in Syria if diplomatic perseverance, tenacity and patient negotiating finally paid off.