Sigmar Gabriel issued the following statement in Berlin this evening (15 May) on the start of a new round of the Syria peace talks in Geneva:
The new round of intra-Syrian negotiations is a key milestone. It is good that Staffan de Mistura has managed to get the parties to go to Geneva.
Following a break which has been far too long, progress in the talks between the Syrian regime and the opposition is urgently needed in Geneva. For that it is crucial that the sides come together again before Ramadan. Everyone involved must work towards a viable and effective ceasefire for the whole of Syria and, at the same time, seek to ensure that a genuine and earnest political process under the auspices of the United Nations gets underway. The opportunities available to break out of the spiral of violence must not be wilfully squandered. Only if a viable political solution is found regarding a transitional government and Syria’s future constitutional structures can the terrible conflict be ended.