Ministers of Canada, Denmark, Egypt, European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States met September 18 to discuss Syria and related issues. They agreed on the following points, which will guide their united efforts:
1) There is only a political solution to the Syria crisis to be arrived at through full implementation of UNSCR 2254. The ministers reiterated strong support for UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, UN-led efforts in Geneva, and strong and effective participation in meaningful negotiations by credible representatives of the Syrian opposition.
2) Recovery and reconstruction support for Syria hinges on a credible political process leading to a genuine political transition that can be supported by a majority of the Syrian people.
3) De-escalation zones and other ceasefire initiatives contribute to setting the foundation for a political solution. The ministers welcomed the progress achieved through the Astana process and in the separate process for southwest Syria negotiated by the United States, Jordan, and Russia, and in the process for eastern Ghouta and Northern Homs facilitated by Egypt and Russia. The progress achieved must also translate to rapid, unhindered and sustained humanitarian access throughout the country. The ministers also reiterated their commitment to the territorial integrity of Syria.
4) The campaign against ISIS and efforts to defeat Jabhat al-Nusra must be completed to ensure that these terrorist organizations retain no safe haven in Syria from which they can threaten the Syrian people, Syria’s neighbors, and all of our homelands. This, alongside de-escalation, the provision of unimpeded humanitarian aid, and a credible political process are our current priorities.
5) The situation in Iraq is integral to the stability of Syria. Accordingly, the ministers welcomed the enormous progress in Iraq and called on the Kurdish Regional Government not to move forward with the scheduled September 25 referendum and embrace a process of genuine dialogue with Baghdad.