German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault call for a political solution for Syria. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION Countries opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, including the United States, backed continued efforts by the United Nations to broker a political solution to the bloody civil war in Syria, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Friday (February 17). "It became clear that all who met want a political solution because a military solution alone will not lead to peace in Syria and that this political solution must be achieved in Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations and that there cannot be any parallel negotiations," Gabriel told reporters. The German Foreign Minister was speaking at a press conference after a meeting that included the United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, France and Britain. His French counterpart, Jean-Marc Ayrault, said Europe would only take part in Syria's reconstruction with a credible political transition. "Who can finance Syria's reconstruction? Above all Europe. We said it again this morning that it was out of the question to contribute to Syria's reconstruction under the present regime." Ayrault added that Russia should pressure the Syrian government to stop considering all opposition forces as "terrorists", otherwise the Geneva talks will fail.