Top diplomats from five world powers mark 10 years of war in Syria

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FILED - Smoke raise from a site targeted by multiple airstrikes, allegedly carried out by Syrian government forces in the town of Taqad, in the western Aleppo countryside. Photo: Juma Mohammad/IMAGESLIVE via ZUMA Wire/dpa
FILED - Smoke raise from a site targeted by multiple airstrikes, allegedly carried out by Syrian government forces in the town of Taqad, in the western Aleppo countryside. Photo: Juma Mohammad/IMAGESLIVE via ZUMA Wire/dpa

dpa/GNA – On the 10th anniversary of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the top diplomats of the United States, Germany, France, Italy and Britain reaffirmed their commitment to a political solution to the conflict.

In a joint statement on Monday, they recalled the human rights abuses, violations of international law, war atrocities and the humanitarian crisis triggered by the civil war.

“It is imperative the regime and its supporters engage seriously in the political process and allow humanitarian assistance to reach communities in need,” it said.

“The proposed Syrian presidential election this year will neither be free nor fair, nor should it lead to any measure of international normalization with the Syrian regime.

Any political process needs the participation of all Syrians, including the diaspora and the displaced, to enable all voices to be heard,” it said.

The statement was issued by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

They said they too were committed to “reinvigorating the pursuit of a peaceful solution” and will “firmly continue to press for accountability for the most serious crimes.”

The Syrian crisis, which started with peaceful pro-democracy protests on March 15, 2011, soon evolved into a full-blown conflict, drawing in foreign fighters and powers.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday that at least 388,652 people have been killed in Syria’s conflict.

Around 62 per cent of Syria is under the control of government forces and allied paramilitaries, while the remainder is divided among Kurdish militias, Turkish-backed rebels and Islamist fighters, the monitor said.

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