Chancellor Merkel: "Assad bears sole responsibilty" for development in Syria
7 April 2017
Joint statement by Chancellor Merkel and French President Hollande following the air strikes in Syria, statement by Foreign Minister Gabriel
© German Embassy London
Following the air strikes in Syria Chancellor Merkel and French President Hollande said in a joint statement that they would continue their efforts to call President Assad to account over war crimes and reiterated calls for sanctions. Foreign Minister Gabriel called the US airstrikes understandable, and said that it was crucial to support the UN in order to reach a political solution.
Chancellor Merkel and Preisdent spoke on the telephone today, 7 April about the situation in Syria following the toxic gas attack on Tuesday, 4 April, as well as the US reaction.
In a joint statment following their converstaion they said that after the chemical weapons attack on 4 April in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun a military base of the Syrian regime was hit by a US missile strike last night.
President Assad was solely responsible for this. His repeated use of chemical weapons and crimes against his own people called for sanctions, as Germany and France had demanded in 2013 following the massacre in Ghuta.
France and Germany together with their partners would continue their efforts to call President Assad to account within the framework of the UN.
France and Germany called on the international community to join forces for political transition in Syria in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 and the Geneva Communiqué.
Foreign Minister Gabriel on the US air strikes in Syria:
"It was almost unbearable to watch the UN Security Council prove unable to give a clear and unequivocal response to the barbarous use of chemical weapons on innocent people in Syria. It is understandable that the United States has now responded with an attack on the military structures of the Assad regime which were the source of this horrific war crime.
Poison gas is an internationally banned weapon. The international community agrees on that. Understandable though the US military strike on military infrastructure was after the failure of the Security Council, it is now crucial to engage in joint efforts for peace under the aegis of the UN.
We must now do all we can to support the work of the United Nations so that a political solution to the civil war can be achieved. Only a new and democratic Syria will bring lasting peace. Europe and Germany stand ready to do so. The terrible events of recent days demonstrate that the conflict parties in the region, and the US and Russia, will also be required here."