France, Germany welcome ‘useful’ meeting with US on Syria

France, Germany welcome 'useful' meeting with US on Syria

BONN, Germany — The foreign ministers of France and Germany voiced cautious optimism Friday about the willingness of the Trump administration to engage on Syria, after new U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took part in a discussion about the issue on the sidelines of a diplomatic summit in Bonn, Germany.

France’s foreign minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, said the meeting Friday was “particularly useful,” noting that the meeting came a week before the U.N.-backed peace talks in Geneva are due to resume.

“It is important and absolutely instrumental for us to have a close dialogue with the United States on the Syrian issue and on many other issues,” Ayrault told reporters.

His German counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel, said Tillerson had “participated vigorously” in the discussion, which also included top envoys from Italy, Britain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan and the European Union.

Gabriel said those who participated agreed that only a political solution could bring lasting peace to Syria, which has been shaken by conflict for almost six years.

Russia, which has provided military backing to the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad in its fight against a broad range of opposition forces, didn’t take part in the talks on the sidelines of a two-day meeting of foreign ministers from the Group of 20 leading industrialized and emerging economies.

Gabriel noted, however, that Russia’s support was crucial for progress to happen at the peace talks. “On its own the regime in Damascus won’t conduct any serious negotiations,” he said.

Ayrault reiterated France’s position that Assad can’t be part of a future Syrian government, adding that Europe wouldn’t finance the rebuilding of the country if he is.

Following the meeting on Syria, diplomats from all of the G-20 nations discussed conflict prevention ahead of a scheduled working lunch where the topic was to be co-operation with Africa.

____

Follow Frank Jordans on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/wirereporter

Frank Jordans, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Kelowna-based pot chain acquired by international cannabis company

Compass Cannabis Clinic acquired in multi-million dollar deal by Isodiol International Inc.

Life on Munson Pond looking pretty bright

Earth Day event in Kelowna showcases work that’s four years in the making

Reel Reviews: Parlour games or video games

We say, “Rampage is silly fun and Truth or Dare is just silly”

Rain barrels, compost bins popular on Earth Day in Kelowna

Regional District’s annual sale sees all rain barrels sell in 90 minutes

Boil water notice in effect for Peachland

Interior Health recommends all customers drink boiled water or a safe alternative.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Ballet Kelowna drives classic hit through Okanagan

A Streetcar Named Desire is at the Kelowna Community Theatre May 1-2, Vernon May 4

Low fog creates stunning views near Sicamous

Motorists on the highway between Salmon Arm and Sicamous were treated to spectacular scenery.

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

Okanagan-Similkameen freshet looms large: district

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen says property owners have window to prepare for flooding

Bussard to bring left-side power to Heat

Jade Bussard to join UBCO women’s volleyball squad for 2018-19 Canada West season

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

KWIC swimmers compete in Montreal, Victoria

Kelowna-West Kelowna swimmers take to the pool at nationals and westerns.

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Most Read