Sigmar Gabriel issued the following statement in Berlin today (3 March) on the conclusion of the latest round of the Syria peace talks in Geneva:
I would like to thank Staffan de Mistura for his tireless and unceasing commitment and the level-headed way in which he conducted the negotiations in what is a truly difficult situation.
The seriousness of purpose and willingness to engage in genuine negotiations exhibited by the Syrian opposition sends an important and positive signal, namely that it is an illusion to think that it is impossible to break the apparently compelling logic of violence.
A breakthrough has yet to be achieved. However, our minimum objective, keeping the door open to a political process, was reached. While the door may not yet be wide open, it is more than just ajar. The fact that it was impossible to achieve more is down to the obstinacy and delaying tactics of the Syrian regime. Moscow and Tehran have a responsibility to exert their influence more strongly than to date in order to ensure that Damascus ceases to deliberately pass up the chance to engage in genuinely serious negotiations.
Ensuring that the ceasefire, which has been repeatedly infringed by the Syrian air force in recent days, is observed is also vital. The fact that the Syrian Government continues to block the supply of humanitarian aid to besieged opposition territories is and remains a scandal.