Germany and France push for new Syria peace effort following Western airstrikes

Marsha Scott
April 16, 2018

Germany will join France to push for a new worldwide effort to achieve a lasting ceasefire in Syria, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Saturday according to a Retuers report, criticising Russian Federation for repeatedly blocking UN Security Council action on the war.

In the first days when the news circulated, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan highlighted that this was not the first crime that Bashar Assad committed against humanity, saying that Assad would pay a heavy price.

Yoav Gallant, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet, said: "The use of chemical weapons crosses a red line that humanity can no longer tolerate".

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation met Saturday to follow up on the strikes, which Berlin did not participate in but backed.

Germany has welcomed the US -led military strikes on the Syrian regime's chemical sites after last week's chemical attack in Douma.

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The forceful tone highlights a new approach from Germany, which has generally avoided backing military intervention.

In a written statement on Saturday, Chancellor Angela Merkel underlined that the joint strike by the USA, U.K., and France specifically aimed at destroying Syria's suspected chemical weapons capabilities and deterring further use of such banned weapons.

Maas said it was critical to first achieve a lasting, nationwide ceasefire in Syria, along with humanitarian access, but the next step would be to negotiate a lasting solution that addresses the legitimate interests of the Syrian people. Russian Federation intervened to back Assad with airstrikes in 2015 and has used its diplomatic weight to protect the regime.

"The key milestones will be creation of a transition government, a constitutional reform and elections", Maas added.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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