Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (20 December) on the decision by the US to withdraw its troops from Syria:
The abrupt change of course by the US does not only come as a surprise to us. IS has been pushed back, but the threat remains. There is a risk that the consequences of this decision will harm the fight against IS and endanger the achievements that have been made. There are still underground structures and terrorists remain active in eastern Syria. The outcome of the fight against IS will be decided in the long term – with both military and civil means. In order to bring about stabilisation, there must be security and a political order that will hold up in the future. That is why we are working with our partners for a political process. The leading role must lie with the United Nations.