Former German ambassador calls Syria "a disgrace for Europe"

Wolfgang Ischinger, a former German ambassador and the head of the Munich Security Conference, has accused Europe of failure in the conflict in Syria.

"What is happening in Syria, is a disgrace for Europe," Ischinger said in an interview Monday with German newspaper Handelsblatt.

Although it is easy to point the finger at Russia and the United States - who support opposing sides in the war that started in 2011 - Europe has totally failed to take on its responsibility in the conflict, Ischinger said.

He said that Europe should now use political and financial incentives to influence the warring parties in Syria.

"Europe could promise billions of dollars to the rebuilding of Syria, in return for maintaining the ceasefire," said Ischinger, who chairs the three-day event that brings together world leaders, and foreign and defence ministers in the Bavarian capital.

Ischinger also accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of taking advantage of US President Barack Obama's final months in office, to challenge Washington's role as world policeman.

"He would like to create a new world order and hopes that in 2017 he can then do a strategic deal on a level playing field with the new US president," said Ischinger.

Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, has said that if elected, he will have a "wonderful relationship" with Putin.

Last update: Tue, 27/09/2016 - 09:56
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