Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (14 April) on the airstrikes in Syria:
War has been raging in Syria for seven years. Time and again, we have seen that the Assad regime has committed war crimes and also used chemical weapons against civilians, as all available information indicates was recently the case in Douma, too.
Chemical weapons are banned internationally. Their use is a war crime that must lead to consequences in order to ensure that these terrible events are not repeated.
The United Nations Security Council has already been blocked for months on Syria, including on the issue of the use of chemical weapons, by Russia’s actions. In the current case, too, the Security Council was unable to fulfil its role.
In this situation, the limited attack on Syrian regime military structures by France, the United Kingdom and the United States as permanent members of the Security Council sent an appropriate and necessary message, which will help to make it more difficult for suffering of this kind to be caused again in the future.
We too call for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to be tasked again with carrying out a thorough and independent investigation of suspected uses of chemical weapons. We also call for effective access for humanitarian aid.
At the same time, this conflict and its development, intensity and dimensions are an urgent reminder to us that only a political settlement will bring lasting peace. That is why we will continue to do our utmost to support the work of the United Nations in the Geneva process. The political process needs new momentum and the will of all those involved to now reach solutions. Only this can pave the path to enable the people in Syria to find a new future in security and peace.