Germany hails 'fresh chance' for Syria peace
Published: 15 Sep 2013 10:50 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Sep 2013 10:50 GMT+02:00
A deal reached between Moscow and Washington to neutralise Syria's chemical arsenal could yield a fresh opportunity for a political settlement to the conflict, Germany said Saturday.
"If words are followed by actions, the chances of a political solution will have increased considerably," German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement.
He hailed the agreement reached in Geneva by his US and Russian counterparts -- John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov -- on a plan aimed at eliminating the Damascus regime's vast chemical weapons arsenal.
The United States had threatened military action against President Bashar al-Assad's regime after a chemical attack allegedly killed hundreds near Damascus on August 21st.
Russia, which has consistently supported Damascus and vetoed UN moves against it, then came forward with a plan to secure Syria's chemical weapons, prompting Washington to hold off on threatened air strikes.
"Lasting peace... can only be reached through a political settlement and not a military solution," Westerwelle said.