01:53 GMT +323 January 2019
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    Smoke rises during clashes between forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and the Army of Islam fighters.

    Russia, US Hold Key to Syrian Conflict Settlement - German Vice Chancellor

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    According to German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, Russia and the United States hold the key to the Syrian conflict.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — Russia and the United States hold the key to the Syrian conflict and ensuing migrant crisis in their hands, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said Tuesday as he renewed the call for a ceasefire in the war-torn country.

    "The Iranian talks have shown that a conflict can be solved as long as Washington and Moscow are at the negotiating table. This approach should be applied in the case of Syria… The conflict should at least be brought to a lasting ceasefire. The key to this is in Washington and Moscow, but also in Tehran," Gabriel said in a televised parliamentary speech.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition partner stressed that blame games and weapon deliveries from both Russia and Washington to conflicting sides in Syria stood in the way of finding a solution to the ongoing migrant crisis.

    Thousands of Syrians have fled the country since the start of a civil war there in 2011, which has been complicated by the presence of Islamists, including the notorious Islamic State (IS) militant group, operating in the country. Many victims of the war have made their way to Europe, with Germany and Sweden being high on the list of preferred destinations.

    Washington has recently accused Moscow of escalating the crisis by supplying the embattled Syrian government with arms, in what Russia says is its contractual obligations under outstanding arms trade deals. The United States has meanwhile pledged air support and aid to anti-government rebels.


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