Over the weekend Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier continued his efforts on behalf of the German Government to defuse the conflict in Georgia.
In this connection he held talks with Georgian Foreign Minister Tkeshelashvili, French Foreign Minister and EU Council President Kouchner, Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski and Finnish Foreign Minister and current OSCE Chairman-in-office Stubb. He also liaised with EU High Representative Javier Solana and US Secretary of State Rice. With ICRC President Kellenberger Steinmeier discussed the humanitarian situation in the conflict zone.
Today (10 August) Minister Steinmeier again talked on the telephone to Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. During this conversation Steinmeier emphasized that the top priority now was an immediate end to hostilities. In several successive telephone calls with Moscow and Tbilisi the Minister strongly urged the need for direct contact between the Russian and Georgian Governments with a view to paving the way for a political solution to the crisis. These efforts are continuing.
Steinmeier has also dispatched to the crisis zone Ambassador Hans-Dieter Lucas, Deputy Director-General in the Federal Foreign Office responsible for the Caucasus. Ambassador Lucas arrived in Tbilisi late yesterday evening together with representatives of the EU Council Presidency and the OSCE.
As coordinator of the UN Group of Friends for the Abkhazia conflict Germany feels a special responsibility in this matter.