German FM Praises Russia for 'Dealing Most Significant Blow to Daesh'

© Sputnik / Alexander Vilf / Go to the mediabankGerman Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier at a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier at a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow - Sputnik International
The ceasefire in Syria has become ‘the most significant blow' to the terrorists that would have been impossible without the participation of Russia, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told the German newspaper Berliner Morgenpost.

The politician said that he appreciated Russia's contribution to the Syrian peace process and called for further cooperation between Moscow and the West.

"The ceasefire, access for humanitarian missions, the beginning of peace talks in Geneva — all this would be impossible without the constructive participation of Russia," Steinmeier said.

According to Steinmeier, the truce has delivered a decisive blow to the Daesh terrorist group. The ceasefire took effect on February 27 and is generally holding across the country despite reported minor violations.

"At least for now, government forces and the opposition do not destroy each other and can concentrate all their efforts on the fight against the Islamic State," Steinmeier stated.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a meeting in Moscow, Russia, March 24, 2016 - Sputnik International
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According to the politician, there are several reasons behind Moscow's involvement in Syria, among them an attempt to contain the threat of Islamist terrorism and the desire to create a zone of influence in the Middle East. However, the minister stressed, Russia is not interested "in continuous chaos and the total destruction of state structures" in the region.

Russia had been conducting an aerial campaign against terrorists in Syria since September 30 at the official request of the current Syrian President Bashar-al-Assad. In the middle of March, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the withdrawal of the main contingent of Russian forces from Syria, stating that they had accomplished their mission.

Meanwhile on Sunday, the Syrian army confirmed that it had liberated the historic city of Palmyra from Daesh with the support of national aviation and Russian Aerospace Forces.

Palmyra, located 210 kilometers away from Damascus, is considered key for advancing to the Daesh stronghold of Raqqa in eastern Syria.

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