Foreign Minister Maas issued the following statement today (30 March) on the fifth Brussels Conference on “Supporting the future of Syria and the region”:
Ten years have passed since the conflict in Syria began and the situation of people in that country remains catastrophic: half of all Syrians have been forced to flee death, destruction, persecution and torture. Those remaining are having to deal with the consequences of the dramatic economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Four out of five Syrians are now dependent on humanitarian assistance, 2.4 million children cannot go to school, today a loaf of bread or a kilo of tomatoes cost almost thirty times as much as they did in 2011 – unfortunately, many other problems could be added to this sad list.
In this seemingly hopeless situation, it is now also up to the international community to give those scarred by war fresh hope. Germany therefore continues to resolutely support all efforts to find a political solution, as well as the fight against impunity and the provision of supplies to people in Syria and neighbouring countries. Today, we will thus once more step forward and pledge substantial funds, encouraging other countries to also be generous.
It goes without saying, however, that not even the largest and longest aid convoy is a substitute for lasting peace. The Syrian regime and its supporters must finally understand that only a serious political process can pave the way for a viable future for the country. Sham elections in a destroyed country cannot replace genuine negotiations within the framework of Security Council Resolution 2254. It is clear to us that the tragedy in Syria must not be allowed to last for another decade. We therefore continue to wholeheartedly support the efforts of the United Nations to alleviate the suffering of millions of Syrians and to give them hope of peace.