German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has warned that the recent military offensive perpetrated by Russia and the Assad regime can jeopardize peace talks with the Syrian opposition.
“The current situation should show everyone that whoever counts on a military solution in Syria will experience five years of more civil war. This cannot be an alternative,” Steinmeier said in a joint press conference with his Croatian counterpart Miro Kovac in Berlin.
“We should pave the way for the political process, and we will try this again on Thursday,” he said.
Steinmeier is to host on Thursday a meeting of foreign ministers from the U.S., Russia and regional powers including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey in the southern German city of Munich, a day before the 52nd Munich Security Conference.
The UN-led peace talks in Geneva between the Syrian regime and the opposition were suspended last week, after Russia and the Assad regime stepped up their military strikes near Aleppo.
“I can understand the opposition saying that we cannot sit on the table and negotiate in Geneva when our people continue to be under bombardment and cannot have access to humanitarian aid,” Steinmeier said.
He warned against big expectations from Thursday’s meeting and said the conflicting parties were still far from reaching a truce.
“Significantly reducing the fighting and especially providing humanitarian aid will be our main goal. Whether or not we will achieve this on Thursday, I cannot say this from today,” he said.