Any solution to the conflict in Syria must include President Bashar al-Assad, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday and Russia reacted very quickly and welcomed her statement made after the EU summit on migrants.

"We have to talk to many players, including Assad," Merkel said and expressed agreement with the views of Russian President Vladimir Putin that the exclusion of Syria's "legitimate president" from the conflict settlement process in that country "unrealistically".

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier believes that a joint initiative is urgently needed to ensure that Syria remains a united and secular state, stressing that there will be no military solution to the conflict in Syria.

The United States, the United Kingdom and France have not expressed readiness to talk to Assad.