German foreign minister: Russia plays key role in Syrian settlement


A picture shows destruction in the former rebel-held Sukkari district in the northern city of Aleppo on December 23, 2016 after Syrian government forces retook control of the whole embattled city.Syrian troops cemented their hold on Aleppo after retaking full control of the city, as residents anxious to return to their homes moved through its ruined streets.

Photo by AFP

Berlin sees Russia’s key role as an external player in efforts aimed at securing a political solution to the Syrian conflict and expects Moscow to exert appropriate pressure on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“Russia has been playing a key role in it. We are placing our stake on the fact that Moscow will use its extensive influence on the Assad regime in order to help the political process in Geneva evolve into serious talks. We also expect that regional powers will act in a way that will match the responsibility resting with them,” German Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in an exclusive interview with Interfax.

Gabriel is expected to hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on March 9.

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