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German FM proposes second Geneva meeting to settle Ukraine crisis

Given the escalating violence in Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for a second conference in Geneva to settle the Ukraine crisis, German television channel ARD reported on Sunday.

In the ARD report from Berlin, Steinmeier said: "I advocate that the first meeting in Geneva now should be followed by a second meeting in Geneva, during which clear appointments will be met on how to bring this conflict to a halt and how to lead the conflict to a political solution."

Steinmeier said he had hold "many talks in the past hours" on a new international conference on Ukraine with his U.S. and Russian counterparts John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov, as well as EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

"The tragedy of Odessa must actually be a wake up call for all of us," said Steinmeier, "We must now make every effort again to come back to the Geneva agreement."

He also said, therefore it is necessary to set up local round table meetings, and to ensure that local conflicts are resolved in individual cities gradually, adding that anything else would be irresponsible because it would only mean more victims.

In addition, Steinmeier expressed his hope that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) could play a greater role in the conflict in the future.

"It was right to rely on the OSCE as a neutral organization in the conflict," and the organization would be accepted by all parties, said Steinmeier.

"It was clear to me that we need to strengthen the OSCE and that we can entrust them with other tasks for the mediation in Ukraine," said Steinmeier.

"I am glad that not only OSCE inspectors got freed, but also the members of the Ukrainian armed groups," which was the largest uncertainty in the negotiations, said Steimeier.

In the east part of Ukraine, government troops took actions against the militants with combat helicopters and armored vehicles on Sunday, after violent clashes occurred Friday between pro- and anti-government protesters in the port city of Odessa, leaving at least 43 people killed and 174 others injured.

[Source: Xinhua, Berlin, 04May14]

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