German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called on Russia to influence Syrian President Bashar Assad to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and prevent the use of chemical weapons in Syrian Idlib, which is home to about 3.5 million people. He stated this on Friday, September 14, at a press conference after talks with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Deutsche Welle reports.
"We want to do everything so that there will not be a large-scale offensive, so that there will not be thousands of civilian casualties," the Maas said.
He hopes that Russia will influence the Syrian leader to prevent the use of chemical weapons.
According to the Maas, Germany is ready to assist in rebuilding Syria if Damascus creates conditions for the return of refugees and ensure that they will not be persecuted. Germany also insists that the country should begin a political process that will guarantee the Syrians the right to decide the future of their country.
"I can not imagine that at the end of this process, if this is a real democratic process, there will be a long-term prospect for Assad," the head of the German Foreign Ministry said.
During the meeting between Maas and Lavrov, they also talk on the situation in the East of Ukraine. The Foreign Minister of Germany noted that there is no substitute for the Minsk process, therefore, we should continue the negotiations in the "Normandy format".
As previously reported, the French army is ready for new air strikes against Syria in the event that Damascus again uses chemical weapons.
Earlier, the US stated its readiness to again hit Syria, if the Syrian authorities will use chemical weapons.
In addition, Canada expressed serious concern that the regime of Bashar Assad could use chemical weapons in the province of Idlib.
Syrian President Bashar Assad approved the use of chlorine gas in Idlib.