Statement by Foreign Minister Gabriel on the liberation of Raqqa

20.10.2017 - Press release

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel issued the following statement on Friday (20 October) on the liberation of Raqqa:

For almost four long years, Raqqa was a place of terror and tyranny. IS treated its civilian population with the utmost brutality and spread terror from the city as far as Europe.

With the support of the Global Coalition against Daesh, the Syrian Democratic Forces have now taken complete control of the city, thus putting an end to the IS regime in Raqqa and retaking its last major stronghold. This is an important step in the fight against terror. However, this battle is still far from being won.

The city only has a chance of returning to normal daily life after this time of terror with the help of extensive support from the international community. This includes clearing the perfidious booby‑traps laid by IS that pose a deadly threat to people in Raqqa and those who want to return there. The German Government has already earmarked ten million euros for this.

However, political prospects for peaceful coexistence are equally important. Within the framework of the Global Coalition against Daesh, we are thus working to foster local administrative structures that represent the people of Raqqa. Furthermore, progress is needed as regards a political transition, including under the Geneva process, in order to ensure a good future for Syria as a whole and for all Syrians and to prevent a return to terror in Raqqa and elsewhere. elsewhere.

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