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German Initiative on Syria as U.S., Moscow Cling to Hopes of Cooperation | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a speech Tuesday at The German Marshall Fund in Brussels. (EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP)

Washington, Beirut, Moscow, Cologne- Germany joins on Wednesday the ranks of mediating countries by hosting a five-party meeting in Berlin with the hopes of resolving the deteriorating crisis in Syria.

A German foreign ministry official said on Tuesday that senior officials from the U.S., Britain, France, Italy and Germany are to meet in Berlin to try to find ways to resolve the conflict in Syria, confirming a story published earlier in the German Tagesspiegel daily.

The newspaper quoted a source close to the foreign minister as saying that at the current difficult situation, the goal is to look for suggestions about how to stem the violence in Syria and return to a political process.

The German diplomacy is now strongly working to restore dialogue between the U.S. and the Russian sides on Syria.

The German move comes a day following the U.S. decision to suspend bilateral channels with Moscow over efforts to revive a failed ceasefire in Syria and to form a joint military cell that could attack extremist groups.

Talks between the two countries reached a dead end after Bashar Assad’s forces resumed their ground and air assault on Aleppo.

But, despite the latest U.S. positions, observers have noticed that both Moscow and Washington intend to keep the negotiations on track.

Speaking in Brussels at the German Marshall Fund, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said: “We are not giving up on the Syrian people. We are not abandoning the pursuit of peace, we are not going to leave the multilateral field, and we are going to continue to try to find a way forward in order to end this war.

Speaking with the same tone, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “We are still hoping that the political wisdom will prevail and we will continue contacts on most sensitive issues that are necessary to maintain global peace and security in general.”

Michael Gehler, a German member of Chancellor Angel Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said on Tuesday that Russia and Assad’s regime want a military solution in Syria, the cause behind Washington’s decision to suspend talks with Moscow.

Meanwhile, U.N. High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein said initiatives to resolve the situation in besieged rebel-held eastern Aleppo should include proposals to limit the use of the veto by the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.

“Such a referral would be more than justified given the rampant and deeply shocking impunity that has characterized the conflict and the magnitude of the crimes that have been committed, some of which may indeed amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Zeid said in a statement.

On the battlefield, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdel Rahman told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Syrian regime’s military endeavors have now reached the eastern and western Ghouta of rural Damascus, while this same regime is preparing to launch a wide operation in the Jubar neighborhood of the capital.