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Telephone call between Foreign Minister Steinmeier and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov on the Situation in Syria

29.09.2016 - Press release

The Federal Foreign Office issued the following statement following Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s telephone call with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov:

Before leaving just now for Jerusalem to attend the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister Steinmeier spoke with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov by telephone.

The two ministers discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine following the signing of a framework agreement for the disengagement of forces and also spoke in depth about Syria.

Foreign Minister Steinmeier pointed out that the situation in Syria had worsened dramatically once more since fighting had broken out again and said we were faced with a humanitarian disaster.

As a result, he urged Moscow and Washington to now continue their talks in Geneva in order to reach an agreement that would at least bring about a temporary ceasefire and finally make it possible to deliver humanitarian aid.

Foreign Minister Steinmeier called on the Russian side to support a ceasefire of longer than 48 hours and to subsequently ensure that the Assad regime adheres to this.

The longer the brutal attacks by the Syrian air force and now also the deployment of ground troops in eastern Aleppo last, the further we move away from any chance of ending this unbounded violence.

The daily bombing of innocent children, women and men must finally come to an end. Those who want to combat terrorism do not attack hospitals.

We also expect the regional powers to exert their influence so that the many opposition groups also adhere to the ceasefire.

This is a legitimate expectation of the people in Syria, and it is also the political and moral responsibility of the international community.

Foreign Minister Steinmeier will meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Jerusalem tomorrow.

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