A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (28 November) on the latest round of the Syria negotiations in Geneva and the meeting in Riyadh from 22 to 24 November at which representatives of the Syrian opposition agreed to form a joint negotiating Delegation:
We welcome the agreement reached in Riyadh. The opposition’s united platform agreed to at the conference and its willingness to engage in unconditional negotiations are important steps towards entering into direct talks between the regime and the opposition under the auspices of the United Nations. This is the only way for a political settlement within the framework of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 to come closer to reality.
We would like to congratulate Nasr al Hariri, who as chief negotiator in Geneva distinguished himself with his astute and balanced leadership, on his election as the new coordinator of the High Negotiations Committee of the Syrian opposition. We would also like to thank the Saudi Arabian hosts of the Riyadh conference, whose patient mediation was instrumental in achieving this agreement.
In the coming days, the next move will have to be made by Assad and those who support him, first and foremost Russia and Iran. The regime must no longer, and for no apparent reason, delay the commencement of direct negotiations with the opposition on the political future of Syria.
This is all the more urgent as the humanitarian emergency and heavy fighting are continuing in many parts of the country. Time and again there are many civilian victims, such as in Ghouta at the weekend; many people, especially children, are stilly dying of diseases that are actually curable, as well as of malnutrition and the impact of the war, as humanitarian access continues to be blocked in many areas. The population urgently needs a humanitarian respite.