France hosts new talks in effort to resolve Syria crisis
Syria – Statements by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development - Paris - 28 October 2015
Yesterday I hosted a dinner for Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy to discuss Syria.
This useful meeting helped prepare the Vienna meetings in which I will be participating. We discussed the terms of a political transition guaranteeing the departure of Bashar al-Assad under a precise timetable, as well as the need to continue our efforts to combat Daesh [ISIL] in Syria while supporting the moderate Syrian opposition, whose role in future negotiations was emphasized. The beginning of a process needs to involve tangible changes on the ground that help the Syrian people. We will continue our discussions in this format.
I have met with my Russian counterpart, Mr Sergey Lavrov, in order to prepare the Vienna meetings which will take place on Friday.
I raised with him the main conclusions of the consultations we held with our partners in Paris last night. In particular, I recalled our three priorities: combating Daesh and other terrorist groups, and not the moderate opposition; speeding up a transition out that guarantees the departure of Bashar al-Assad; and protect civilians. In this respect, I raised our intention to present a resolution to the Security Council soon, prohibiting barrel bombings.
We agreed to meet again in Vienna to continue discussing these points.