Implement Minsk agreement: German, French FMs

Kiev, Sep 15 (IANS) Visiting German and French Foreign Ministers have urged the conflicting parties in eastern Ukraine to implement measures prescribed in the Minsk ceasefire agreement to pave the way for a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that the conflicting sides have already agreed on a week-long truce starting on Thursday, which could lay the ground for implementing the other provisions of the Minsk agreement, Xinhua news agency reported.

“If both parties adhere to the ceasefire for more than a designated week, we would be able to carry out the separation of the forces in certain regions,” Steinmeier said on Wednesday during a joint press conference with his French and Ukrainian counterparts, Jean-Marc Ayrault and Pavlo Klimkin.

Ayrault said that along with the implementation of the security provisions of the Minsk agreement, the conflicting sides should also make political steps prescribed in the deal.

Besides, the sides should release all their hostages and give international monitors full access to the conflict area, Ayrault said, adding that Kiev should also grant amnesty to pro-independence insurgents, while rebels should give Ukrainian forces access to the state border.

The visiting Foreign Ministers arrived in Ukraine on Wednesday for a two-day visit within the framework of the Normandy format.

The Minsk ceasefire agreement, reached in early 2015 in the Belarusian capital by the leaders of the Normandy Four which consists of Germany, Russia, France and Ukraine, aims to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine that erupted in 2014, where more than 9,500 persons have been killed so far.

–IANS

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