The Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg said yesterday that attacks on the Syrian city of Aleppo are “a blatant violation of international law”, and urged Russia to make “credible efforts” to restore the ceasefire. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel also condemned the brutal violence on citizens in Aleppo and said that it “is completely unacceptable”.
According to Agence France-Presse, Stoltenberg said on the side lines of a meeting of EU defence ministers in Bratislava that “The appalling attacks are morally totally unacceptable” and are a “blatant violation of international law”.
Stoltenberg added “I join the international calls on Russia to show credible efforts to restore the cessation of hostilities, to allow humanitarian aid into Aleppo and to create the conditions necessary for UN-led transition talks to resume”.
Meanwhile, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti quoted the Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov as saying that the Syrian Foreign Minister has an open invitation to visit Russia. He said “(Walid) Al-Muallem has an open invitation to Moscow, he is always welcome”.
In Berlin, Merkel expressed scepticism about the possibilities of establishing a no-fly zone over parts of Syria and said that more efforts to reach a ceasefire were needed.
During a joint press conference with the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in the capital Berlin yesterday, Merkel said that with regards to improving opportunities for a ceasefire, this clearly depends on Russia and on the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime.
The German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for the imposition of a temporary no-fly ban on military aircraft in Syria for up to seven days after an aid convoy near Aleppo was bombed on the 19th of September. The US President Barack Obama has repeatedly rejected this proposal.
Merkel stressed that the brutal violence on the citizens of Aleppo “is completely unacceptable” and that “we have seen very large setbacks during the past few days”.
With regards to refugees from Syria and other areas around the world that are plagued with crises, the German Chancellor confirmed Europe’s “humanitarian commitment” and noted that differentiating between Christian and Muslim refugees is not in line with European values. She said: “We do not differentiate between people belonging to the Christian faith and people belonging to the Islamic faith”, and stressed the need for this to be reflected in the policy of all European countries.