02:41 GMT +317 November 2019
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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) speaks with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier

    Russian FM Lavrov and German FM Steinmeier Hold Joint Press Conference

    © AFP 2019 / VASILY MAXIMOV
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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier are holding a joint press conference following their meeting.

    "We analyzed bilateral cooperation on international issues. The attacks in Brussels have underscored the necessity for a joint fight against terrorism," Sergei Lavrov said.

    "We're interested in cooperating closely with Germany," Lavrov said. "Relations with Germany are a high priority for us."

    "We discussed the Syrian ceasefire. We've exchanged opinions on how we can prevent violations of the Syrian ceasefire."

    "We've discussed a lot of issues: Iran, Libya, Syria," German FM Steinmeier said. "It's very important to hold negotiations like this. Especially regarding the terrorist attacks in Brussels. We need to act together against terrorism."

    "We've discussed the situation in Syria," he added. "We have hope for a political settlement in the country for the first time. The peace process is successful."

    Russia and Germany agree that Syria should become a united secular state that protects the interests of all ethnic groups, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Wednesday.

    "After all, we agreed in Vienna about this as well, having reinforced the agreement in Munich. We should reach the deal on a united secular state in Syria, in which all the ethnicities could live in peace," Steinmeier said at the joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

    In late October, the participants of the two-day talks in Vienna on the Syrian settlement reached mutual understanding on the country’s unity, the need to defeat extremist groups, and helping refugees, as well as on the fact that the Syrian people must decide the future of their state.

    According to the meeting's final communique, Syria’s unity, independence, territorial integrity, and secular character are fundamental.

    Berlin hopes that Ankara will return to the path of reconciliation with Kurds, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Wednesday.

    "Again and again I stress my hope that Turkey will…again return to the path which the country had followed before, the path of reconciliation with different national groups, with the Kurds," Steinmeier said at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.

    According to Steinmeier, Ankara should consider the existing requirements and needs of the Kurdish population.

    "Germany at the highest level is drawing Turkey’s attention to the concerning political situation in the country," the minister said.

    Russia continues seeing militants cross the border between Turkey and Syria and weapons being smuggled to the war-torn country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

    "We continue witnessing traffic through [the border], though this traffic has decreased significantly after our air forces initiated an operation to combat illegal trade," Lavrov told reporters.

    He added that "the link has not completely dried out, but it has become much smaller."

    "However, it is still there and it is actively used at the border between two Kurdish enclaves in the north of Syria. That is why the Turkish side carries out artillery shelling of Kurdish positions when the Kurds attempt to gain territory from the Islamic State, preventing them from fighting terrorists," the minister said.

    "In terms of security, we are not satisfied with the situation in Ukraine. There is still instability, and [there have been] violations of the ceasefire. But we have made some progress in this area," FM Steinmeier said.

    "We agree that we will continue to look forward to a peaceful solution in Ukraine," he added.

    Answering the question about fulfillment of Minsk agreements German FM Steinmeier said that he's supporting decree of Normandy Four. "We can improve situation in erms of security," he said.

    Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier will focus on establishing direct dialogue between representatives of Kiev and Ukraine's troubled Donbas region.

    "We underlined the need to pay special attention to this crucial point," Lavrov told reporters following a meeting with Steinmeier.

    The exchange of information that could facilitate the fight against the international terrorism should be intensified, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Wednesday after talks with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

    "It is in our common interest to counter global terrorism. Terrorists' plan to scare people in our countries and make them change their lifestyle should not be implemented. This is what the terrorists are seeking. We have to defend our way of life, protect it with the opportunities provided by the rule-of-law state, and our Interior Minister [Thomas de Maiziere] said today that in the fight against international terrorism, the exchange of information between friendly states should be utilized," Steinmeier said.

    "I think we can do more than we have done before. In the morning, we agreed with Sergei Lavrov that these issues would be studied even more closely in the framework of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe [OSCE]," he said.

    The German foreign minister pointed out that the attacks in Brussels have once again shown the threat which should be countered by joint efforts and could be coordinated within the OSCE.

    "Germany and Russia have much more in common than it may seem at first glance. These contacts between our two countries are extremely important," Steinmeier concluded.

    Steinmeier arrived on a working visit to Moscow earlier in the day to discuss, among other things, the Syrian peace process with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

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    press conference, ceasefire, Minsk agreements, Minsk protocol, Syrian crisis, Ukrainian crisis, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Sergei Lavrov, Germany, Russia
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