Foreign Minister Maas issued the following statement on his arrival in Brussels today (25 April):
The conflict in Syria was right at the top of the agenda in intensive discussions in the G7 and talks on the fringes of the UN General Assembly, including with the Foreign Ministers of Turkey and Iran. We focused on efforts to get the political process under way once again with all due urgency. We will continue these talks also on the fringes of today’s conference with such officials as UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura.
Above all, however, Germany will show once again today that we are assuming responsibility for the people in need in Syria and neighbouring countries. More than 13 million people are still dependent on humanitarian assistance in Syria alone. Millions of people who have fled to Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon continue to need support and future prospects in their home region. Syria’s neighbouring countries also need reliable partners more than ever in the face of these great challenges. On my trip to Jordan, I saw for myself how necessary our assistance is – also in the interests of regional stability, which we have every interest in preserving. I will discuss this issue with such figures as Saad Hariri, the Prime Minister of Lebanon, a country that has also taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees and which has made a great contribution in recent years.
Germany has been held in high regard for years as one of the biggest, and above all one of the most reliable, donors. Since the beginning of the crisis in 2012, the Federal Government has contributed around 4.5 billion euros in aid. The Federal Government will continue to provide assistance at the same high level and will set aside a further billion euros for 2018 and subsequent years today. Protecting the civilian population must continue to be the top priority. At the same time, we will work to ensure that the serious crimes that have taken place in Syria are prosecuted and that those responsible are brought to justice.