Foreign Minister Steinmeier gave the following statement to the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung today (11 August) on the situation in Syria and Aleppo:
We urgently need to make sure that help quickly reaches the people in Aleppo now. That can only happen if hostilities actually cease and aid workers gain access to both parts of the cities without endangering their lives – by which I mean regime-controlled western Aleppo and opposition-held eastern Aleppo. Humanitarian access has to be assured under the auspices of the UN; it cannot be controlled autonomously by one side of the conflict.
We are in contact with the United Nations on a daily basis to see where we can do more to help as soon as access is assured. We are already the largest provider of funding for humanitarian aid in Syria. In Aleppo particularly, we are supporting hospitals and the electricity provision crucial for drinking-water pumps. We are also assisting the United Nations with food supplies.
At the same time, we are talking to all our international partners in the interests of finding a way to sort out this catastrophic situation in Aleppo. I have spoken to the US and Russian foreign ministers on the subject. I made it clear to the latter that, as a supporter of the regime, Russia bore a particularly high level of responsibility with regard to the ceasefire and to humanitarian access. A unilaterally declared ceasefire of three hours per day will certainly not be enough to avert a humanitarian disaster.