BERLIN (AA) – The transition of power in Damascus should be discussed at the start of upcoming negotiations for a political solution in Syria, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Wednesday.
Addressing a joint press conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in Berlin, Steinmeier hoped for progress in efforts to restart political negotiations between the Syrian opposition and the regime for a solution to the conflict.
“Beginning negotiations on a political solution, of course, means transition of power. And, therefore, the next period of negotiations would be on how one can organize this transformation and what would be the first steps,” Steinmeier said.
He said the expectation of Syrian opposition groups to enter into talks on transition of power was understandable.
Steinmeier also hoped that Saudi Arabia would encourage opposition groups for progress in talks towards a political solution.
Al-Jubeir said he had a very constructive meeting with his German colleague, with discussions on bilateral relations as well as regional conflicts, the situation in Syria, Libya and Yemen.
He urged Vienna group countries, global and regional powers seeking a political solution to the conflict in Syria, to increase their pressure on the Bashar al-Assad regime so that it stops violations of cease-fire and allows humanitarian access to besieged areas.
The UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva between the Syrian opposition and the Assad regime was suspended last month, due to continued airstrikes of Russia and regime forces on opposition-controlled areas.
Syria has been locked in a civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, more than 250,000 people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to the UN.