The Foreign Ministers of the European Union member states, began talks on Monday, January 16, on the Syrian crisis and the stalled Middle East peace process.
The meeting holds one day after diplomats from nearly 70 countries met in Paris and issued a call to Israelis and Palestinians to resume direct negotiations, a week before Syrian peace talks in the Kazakhstan capital, Astana.
The Paris meeting, which is meant to show a global support for a two-state solution, was harshly criticised by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
The EU’s discussions come as Turkey and Russia appear to have assumed a leading role in finding a political solution to the conflict.
The two countries brokered a nationwide ceasefire in December and are planning to host peace talks between representatives of the Syrian Government and the opposition in Astana on January 23.
The German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said before the EU meeting: “We need to talk about the role that Europe will play in the forthcoming process.
“We also urge that the negotiations on the future of Syria be returned to the hands of the United Nations”.