Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel issued the following statement in Berlin today (22 May) following his talks at the Federal Foreign Office with Riad Hijab, the General Coordinator of the High Negotiations Committee of the Syrian opposition:
I held important talks today with Riad Hijab, especially considering that we are in a decisive phase of the political process.
I very much welcome the fact that UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is currently trying to expedite the negotiation process. I asked Riad Hijab to play a constructive and active role in this context. Success will require a unified opposition that represents the interests of all sections of Syria’s population.
The most recent round of talks in Geneva has once again demonstrated how the regime is trying to draw out and undermine the negotiations. This means it is all the more important to have a unified and courageous opposition. The questions relating to Syria’s future are too important to allow the delaying tactics of the Syrian regime to work. The delegation of the opposition is working to ensure this doesn’t happen. They are continuing their serious and constructive engagement for a political solution to the conflict.
We’ve had, and continue to have, consensus with our international partners and the moderate opposition on this point. At the same time, we call on those who support the Syrian Regime – Russia and Iran – to work toward cessation of hostilities throughout the country so that secure and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance and aid workers can finally be achieved.