Foreign Minister Steinmeier after the consultations on Syria in Paris

14.03.2016 - Press release

On Monday morning (14 March), Federal Foreign Minister Frank‑Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement to The German Press Agency following the consultations in Paris with his European colleagues from Paris, London and Rome, EU High Representative Mogherini and US Secretary of State Kerry:

It is good that UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura is now bringing the conflict parties back together and that the Geneva talks between the Assad regime and the Syrian opposition are resuming.

Much has happened during the almost one‑month break in negotiations. The Munich commitments on humanitarian access and the ceasefire have helped us move forward. Thanks to the agreed ceasefire the level of violence has been significantly lower for more than two weeks now, and humanitarian assistance has reached many areas that could not previously be accessed.

This is all progress, but it is hanging by a mere thread. What we have achieved to date is still far too little to really turn things around in Syria. The situation remains extremely fragile and could erupt again at any time. The ceasefire agreed in Munich is still being breached. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are still suffering from the refusal to facilitate humanitarian assistance.

The key to a political solution that could bring about an end to the civil war for Syria is the Geneva negotiation process.

I expect from the Syrian Government and the opposition the readiness not only to come to Geneva for the sake of appearances, but to swiftly embark on serious negotiations in line with the Vienna road map.

This will not work without massive pressure on the negotiating parties, above all from Moscow and Tehran on the Assad regime. That is why it is so important for all parties in the Vienna process to continue to demonstrate their clear commitment to the principles for building a future for Syria and to the political road map.

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