Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke of a "positive meeting in spite of divergent original standpoints". The conflict in Syria can only be resolved by finding a political solution under the aegis of the United Nations, she said. A political process must lead to free elections in which all Syrians can take part, even those living outside Syria, declared the Chancellor.
In Istanbul Angela Merkel met with French President Emmanuel Macron, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin. In a joint statement they expressed their "concern on the risks and threats emanating from the conflict for regional as well as global security and stability".
The civil war in Syria has been raging for seven and a half years. In Istanbul the leaders also discussed the situation in the Idlib region and the question of implementing the Sochi Declaration agreed by Russia and Turkey with a view to stabilising the situation on the ground. In Istanbul, Turkey, France, Russia and Germany praised progress made on the withdrawal of heavy weapons and radical groups.
Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that progress has been made on demilitarising the Idlib region. This must become a lasting ceasefire, she said. Every effort must be made to prevent a humanitarian disaster.
Constitutional Committee to be convened swiftly
Presidents Erdoğan, Macron and Putin, and Chancellor Angela Merkel declared their support for an inclusive, Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process that is facilitated by the United Nations and called for active participation in it of all Syrian parties. They called for the establishing and convening by the end of the year in Geneva of the Constitutional Committee that is to "achieve the constitutional reform, paving the way for free and fair elections under UN supervision".
Safety, security and a life in dignity
Germany is doing its bit at international level to facilitate a political solution and put in place the conditions for people in Syria to live in safety, security and dignity. The German government has always stressed that only a substantial and irreversible political transition can guarantee security and stability in Syria in the long term.