Western Europe needs Russia to solve crisis in Syria: Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says her country and other western European powers need Russia to resolve the ongoing crisis in Syria.

Merkel made the remarks on Saturday evening before a meeting of the German, Russian, French, and Ukrainian foreign ministers in Berlin, aimed at discussing the Ukraine crisis, Reuters reported.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also had a lengthy exchange with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, about Syria on the sidelines of the meeting, in which they both agreed to give firm political support to the UN Syrian envoy Staffan de Mistura’s plan to establish a Syrian contact group.

On July 29, de Mistura invited the warring parties in Syria to take part in what he called “parallel, or simultaneous, thematic discussions through intra-Syrian working groups,” to address matters including political, constitutional, military, and security issues, in his comments to the Security Council, adding that “such an international initiative will require the support of a contact group.”

On Friday, Lavrov had called for military-to-military cooperation with the US to avert “unintended incidents” as it conducted naval exercises off Syrian coast, adding that Moscow would continue arming the Syrian government in its fight against the Takfiri Daesh terrorists, urging other countries to take a similar measure and help Damascus in the battle.

Syria has been facing a foreign-backed militancy since 2011. The violence has also forced over four million Syrians to take refuge in neighboring countries, including Jordan and Lebanon. More than 7.2 million others have been displaced internally, according to UN figures. Daesh currently controls swaths of land in Iraq, Syria, and Libya.

By Press Tv