Merkel says military efforts necessary in Syria

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says military efforts are necessary in Syria even if they will not end four-year-old civil war

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel attends a news conference at the end of a summit to discuss the crisis in Ukraine at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France on October 2, 2015

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel said on Sunday that military efforts were needed in Syria, even though they would not be enough to bring an end to the four-year-old civil war that has ravaged the war-torn country.

"Regarding Syria, I said for the first time: We will need military efforts, but military efforts will not bring the solution; we need a political process but that has not really got going very well yet," she told Deutschlandfunk.

The German leader called all sides in the conflict for talks. Merkel reiterated the call for Syrian President, Bashar al Assad to participate in any peace talks to put an end to the conflict, stating that his representatives had attended several meetings of the UN-led talks in Geneva.

"That is not to say that we don't see what horrible things are happening, what Assad has done and is still doing with barrel bombs against his own people," she said.

"But to achieve a political solution, I need representatives of the Syrian opposition as well as representatives of those in power at the moment in Damascus and others, and above all the allies of the various groups, to achieve real success."

Merkel’s statements indicated that, support from Germany for military action in Syria was broadening.

Merkel said Saudi Arabia and Iran could get involved in a process to support military action in Syria, as well as Germany, France and Britain.

“We Europeans also bear a responsibility," she said.

Merkel also said she held talks with Russian President, Vladimir Putin and discussed the conflict in Syria during a meeting with him and the leaders of France and Ukraine in Paris on Friday.

The United States and France have carried out military action in Syria and Russia conducted its first air strikes on Wednesday, reportedly against ISIS militants.

However, Germany is not taking part in any military action in Syria. It has repeatedly ruled out involvement in the conflict. Germany only provides weapons and training in neighbouring Iraq.

Syrian foreign minister said on Friday that the conflict in his country would not end merely through political negotiations, adding that no one should think that they could achieve thru talks, what they failed to achieve on the field.

Britain's Foreign Minister Philip Hammond leaves following a televised interview outside the conference hall at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Britain on October 4, 2015

Britain's Foreign Minister, Philip Hammond said on Sunday that the key to end Syria's four-year-old civil war, is a managed transition to peace, even if that meant Assad would hang on to power temporarily.

"If the price for doing that is that we have to accept that Assad will remain as titular head of state for period of time, do I really care if that's three days, three weeks, three years or even longer? I don't think I do," he said.

However, Hammond added that if transition took place, Assad should make a pledge not to be a candidate for future elections and would give up control over Syria’s security apparatus.

On Sunday, British Prime Minister, David Cameron described the Russian military intervention in Syria as a "terrible mistake."

Cameron warned the Russian intervention in support of Syrian regime leader, Bashar al Assad would only destabilize the region even more.

"They are backing the butcher Assad, which is a terrible mistake for them and for the world. It's going to make the region more unstable," Cameron said during an annual conference of his Conservative Party in the city of Manchester.

He also noted that most Russian air strikes in Syria have so far targeted territories held by opposition forces and not ISIS militants.

TRTWorld and agencies