Germany says Minsk talks offer 'glimmer of hope, nothing more'

11th February 2015, Comments 0 comments

Four-way peace talks on Ukraine set to be held in Minsk on Wednesday offer "a glimmer of hope, nothing more", said a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"It is uncertain whether an outcome can be reached, but despite all the uncertainty, it is worth trying in the interest of the suffering people in eastern Ukraine," said spokesman Steffen Seibert.

"That this trip takes place offers a glimmer of hope, but nothing more," he said, confirming that Merkel would travel to Minsk with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to meet the leaders of Russia, Ukraine and France.

Seibert told reporters that he was unable to say anything about the content of the summit in the Belarussian capital but that the talks were scheduled to kick off at 6:30 pm Minsk local time (1530 GMT).

The diplomatic push by Merkel and French President Francois Hollande with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin is aimed at halting the 10-month conflict in Ukraine.

Merkel, who took the peace plan to Kiev and Moscow last week, said at the weekend it was "uncertain" whether it would lead to success but that it was "definitely worth trying".

Steinmeier warned all sides on Tuesday against acts of "sabotage" ahead of the summit which he said was a chance to take "a first and important step" towards defusing the fighting.

© 2015 AFP

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