Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement to “Welt am Sonntag” in Berlin today (10 September):
With all the political and ideological differences, strategic and military interests and cynical power games that can scarcely be untangled, and given the complete erosion of boundaries when it comes to violence after five-and-a-half years of civil war in Syria, yesterday’s agreement between the US and Russia is a true glimmer of hope. Only unity between the major powers, combined with a true determination to urgently and resolutely ensure that all actors implement the agreements reached, can bring an end to the violence and a political settlement for Syria. Now we would be well advised to do our utmost to ensure that the agreed ceasefire is implemented and sustained, so that we can build on that for a rapid continuation of the negotiations on an interim political solution. I urgently call upon all parties to the conflict, those fighting in Syria as well as the regional powers, to respect this agreement and to cease the military conflict by Monday at the latest. The people of Syria long for nothing more than peace in their ravaged country. They really deserve a break from war, and they sorely need our help. We will do everything in our power to make immediate use of the new opportunities for humanitarian access.
Germany is ready to assist the United Nations in delivering humanitarian assistance to Syria, including by stepping up its engagement. All necessary preparations to this end have been made.