Steinmeier reacted to calls from the German Green party for a UN-mandated mission in Syria that it believes should include German troops. But Steinmeier rebuffed the idea, saying during his visit to Saudi Arabia that “it is easy to demand something like that when you know full well that such a mandate will not actually happen.”
He added that the German government had decided that “in the current circumstances, we will not send ground troops to Syria.” He pointed out that other countries were also not sending troops and that the German position wasn’t a “solitary opinion of the German government.”
Earlier on Monday, the Greens’ parliamentary leader, Katrin Göring-Eckardt, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung daily that Germany had to do more to fight the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (IS), saying that they could only be defeated militarily. She stressed, though, that any mission would have to take place under the auspices of the United Nations.
Steinmeier is in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah until Monday evening. He is meeting Crown Prince Salman and Foreign Minister Saud al-Faizal, among others, to coordinate further action against IS. Saudi Arabia is one of the Arabic countries that decided to join US airstrikes against the Islamist terror group in Syria and Iraq.