08:04 GMT +319 January 2020
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    A prolongation of the Syrian settlement process works in the Islamic State (ISIL) militant group’s favor, German Defense Minister Ursula Von der Leyen said Sunday.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) On October 29-30, top diplomats from a number of states, including Russia, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and Germany met in the Austrian capital of Vienna for talks dedicated to the settlement of the Syrian four-year civil war.

    “Every day that we lose without reaching a clear common goal in the Syrian settlement strengthens ISIL,” Von der Leyen said in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

    She added that the participants of Vienna talks agreed that Syrian President Bashar Assad could not and would not be a part of long-term Syrian settlement. At the same time, she stressed that official Damascus should take an active part in conflict resolution.

    The participants of the Vienna talks reached mutual understanding on Syrian unity, the need to defeat extremist groups, assist refugees, and the importance of the Syrian people to decide on the future of their state.

    Syria has been in the state of civil war since a 2011 political collapse, with government forces fighting opposition factions and terrorist organizations, including ISIL and the Nusra Front.


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