During their meeting today, Jean-Marc Ayrault and Boris Johnson discussed the tragic situation in Syria.
They condemned in the strongest terms the continued siege of Aleppo by the Syrian regime and its allies. The siege of this city, where about 300,000 people are trapped, makes it impossible for peace negotiations to resume. Its consequences, including the bombardment of civilians and medical facilities, are already disastrous and could generate further refugees.
The Ministers solemnly called upon the Syrian regime’s allies to bring an immediate end to these operations which violate the truce agreed in Munich and international humanitarian law. They called for the agreement on cessation of hostilities to be fully and immediately restored, and for progress towards the establishment of a transitional authority with full executive powers.
In this respect, they commended the spirit of responsibility of the opposition united within the High Negotiations Committee which needs endlessly to confirm its readiness to fully participate to the inter-Syrian negotiations. They also reiterated their support for the Special Envoy of the United Nations Staffan de Mistura.
The Ministers recalled the commitment of all members of the International Syria Support Group backed by Security Council Resolution 2254 - to reaching agreement on a political transition process by 1 August, underpinned by a cessation of hostilities and improved humanitarian access. The Ministers welcomed the continued efforts by the United States to work with Russia to reach an agreement by this time, in coordination with the United Nations. The Ministers stressed that Russia in particular has a unique ability to persuade the Asad regime to end the war and return to the negotiating table.
The Ministers emphasized the need to increase efforts to combat terrorist groups in Syria, be they Daesh or Jabhat al-Nusra.
They stressed that there can be no lasting political solution or return to stability in Syria so long as Syrian civilians continue to be massacred.