Remarks to the press: Ambassador Wittig on Syria
(near-verbatim transcript of remarks to the press following a Security Council meeting on Syria)
"You have probably heard from Council members the gist of what Mr. Brahimi has said. He painted a very dire and dramatic picture. We share his analysis that the Syrian people don't have a safe place to go anymore - and he gave us some very disconcerting figures: 67% of the hospitals for instance are damaged. That's all very dire and grim.
Mr. Brahimi also was right in our opinion when he said that there’s no military solution. We have to look for political solutions now.
My government very clearly supported his initiative to reach a cessation of violence, a ceasefire over the Eid festivities. My foreign minister has said so last week already, after he had met Mr Brahimi in Turkey. Now, this is what we support.
We remain cautious and have to remain realistic: too many times Assad has not honoured his pledges. So we attach hope to the initiative of Mr. Brahimi but at the same time we remain cautious and realistic in view of the fact that Assad and his government have not honoured their pledges in the past. The onus is on the Syrian government to deliver, to issue not only a statement - what they will do -, but to see action on the ground, to stop the shelling, to stop the use of aircraft. And of course also we have to convince the opposition to heed the call of Mr. Brahimi. That is what we are doing on all channels.
So let’s hope that also this statement that the Council unanimously decided today, which was a good sign, will have an impact. It certainly can strengthen the hand of Mr. Brahimi."