Newly-Appointed French FM Affirms Support for Ukraine Peace Talks

© REUTERS / Jacky NaegelenNewly-appointed French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault reacts as he attends a news conference during the official handover ceremony at the Quai d'Orsay, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Paris, France, February 12, 2016.
Newly-appointed French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault reacts as he attends a news conference during the official handover ceremony at the Quai d'Orsay, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Paris, France, February 12, 2016. - Sputnik International
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The newly-appointed French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Tuesday that the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine must continue its work in the Belarusian capital on bringing about peace in Ukraine with a focus on implementing the Minsk II agreement.

KIEV (Sputnik) — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met with Ayrault and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Kiev on Monday to discuss the situation in eastern Ukraine and the state of implementation of the Minsk agreements. The officials also coordinated their actions prior to a Normandy Quartet ministerial meeting scheduled for early March.

"The dialogue must continue in Minsk between the different sides involved in the conflict, but this should not be an end in itself, there must be a clear goal, and this concerns the implementation of our agreements," Ayrault said during a press conference in Kiev.

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The Trilateral Contact Group comprises representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The sides must seek a compromise on dividing issues, Ayrault said, stressing the importance of agreeing on the terms of holding elections in the Donbass region.

Regarding the Normandy Quartet meetings comprising Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany, the minister stated that French and German mediation would become meaningless without the commitment on granting special status to the Donbass region.

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