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Meeting With German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Date Posted: 04 May 2016

A meeting was also held with foreign ministers of Germany and France, and representatives of the British Foreign Minister and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security. They discussed ways to contain the current crisis and assessed the progress of the political process.  Dr. Hijab highlighted the seriousness of the humanitarian situation in several Syrian provinces, particularly Aleppo, where the regime and its allies have committed a number of heinous atrocities in recent days.  He emphasised the regime’s premeditated intentions to escalate hostilities through the mobilisation of additional sectarian militias and mercenary groups to augment their forces in a bloody campaign against the city.

Dr. Hijab asserted that the continued and serious violations of the regime and its allies have rendered the truce non-existent on the ground, and hence is further confirmation of the regime and its allies’ intention to derail the political process and evade political outcomes.  Dr. Hijab called on the international community to work to stop the suffering of the Syrian people through: lifting of the siege and blockades of cities and regions, enabling access for humanitarian agencies to deliver assistance to all those in need, releasing of all detainees, ceasing aerial and artillery bombardment and attacks on civilians and civilian targets, halting forced deportations, and effecting a moratorium on executions; in accordance with articles 12, 13 and 14 of UNSCR 2254.

Dr. Hijab warned that the recent escalation would have serious humanitarian repercussions.  The barbaric bombardment will again result in hundreds of thousands of Syrians taking refuge in neighbouring countries, or fleeing towards the sea in search of safe havens as the capabilities of neighbouring countries to absorb more refugees diminishes.

Following these meetings, Dr. Hijab met with the UN envoy to Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura.  He reiterated the need for a new strategy by the UN in order to push the peace process forward by adopting a more assertive policy towards the violations committed by the Assad regime its allies in Moscow and Tehran.

Dr. Hijab underlined again that any discussion of the political process must be contingent on the immediate and unconditional implementation of UN Security Council resolutions, in particular those pertaining to halting the violence, reducing the suffering of the Syrian people, lifting of the siege, enabling the delivery of aid to those in need, releasing detainees, effecting a moratorium on executions and ceasing all other arbitrary activities by the regime against civilians.

The French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called on the HNC delegation to attend the next meeting of the Friends of Syria Group in order to discuss ways to contain the crisis and the future of the political process, and an agreement was reached on the presence of representatives from the Committee for next Monday’s meeting.

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