Angela Merkel presses for political process

Situation in Aleppo Angela Merkel presses for political process

Chancellor Merkel has called for unhindered access to Aleppo for UN representatives. They must be able to monitor what is happening in the city, but also in other parts of Syria, she declared at the European Council meeting. She condemned attacks on civilians in Aleppo, and said that Russia and Iran share the blame for the crimes.

Fighting in the besieged part of eastern Aleppo has now ceased completely. The United Nations has demanded immediate access to the eastern part of the city.

Responsibility of Russia and Iran

Alongside the Syrian regime, Chancellor Angela Merkel has declared that Russia and Iran are responsible for targeted attacks on civilians and hospitals. At the European Council meeting in Brussels she demanded that these crimes be investigated and that UN representatives be accorded access to Aleppo.

At the European Council meeting, the Mayor of Eastern Aleppo, Brita Hagi Hasanden, reported to the leaders on the tragedy that has been unfolding in his city. He painted in dramatic terms the situation in which the people of Aleppo find themselves, said Angela Merkel. It was an emotional and very moving part of the discussion, she said. "But we were all forced to realise that we can do a lot less than we would like to do."

As well as the question of ending these targeted attacks, it is especially important to see how a political process can be launched in spite of everything, "to bring order to Syria again".

Regime responsible for the destruction of eastern Aleppo

On Wednesday federal government spokesperson Steffen Seibert urged that "It is not to late to prevent more senseless bloodshed."

Nobody, he said, knows how many men, women and children have lost their lives in the bombs that have rained down on the city in recent weeks, how many have died of hunger and exhaustion. Nobody knows how many people have been abused in the Assad regime’s "screening" centres, and now fear for their lives.

Steffen Seibert continued, "What we do know is that the Syrian regime is responsible, that the orders to commit these crimes came from the Syrian regime, and that the Syrian regime has allowed the crimes to happen, has indeed committed them. We know that Iranian fighters and Shia militia bankrolled by Iran were and are involved."

Role of Russia

The destruction of eastern Aleppo would not have been possible without massive Russian military support. The Russian armed forces are involved in airstrikes against civilian areas and facilities, he said.

Russia has also "blocked the attempts of the United Nations Security Council to impose a humanitarian cessation of hostilities and to evacuate civilians under UN surveillance." All calls of the UN have been ignored, he stated.

The logic of military violence must be abandoned

The German government believes that it is important that talks between the various groups and factions within Syria are resumed, with the aim of achieving a political solution, said Steffen Seibert

This is the only way to preserve the territorial integrity of Syria and to restore security and stability. It is also the duty of Russia in particular to facilitate access to eastern Aleppo for the International Committee of the Red Cross, so that humanitarian aid can be delivered to the people there.