Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin today (23 April) before departing with France’s Foreign Minister Fabius on a joint trip to Moldova, Georgia, Tunisia and Paris:
As the crisis in Ukraine continues, we are travelling to Moldova and Georgia to gain an impression of the situation on the ground. The deep concern with which our Eastern partners are watching the situation in neighbouring Ukraine is something we take very seriously.
Germany and France are continuing to do all we can to help de‑escalate the conflict in Ukraine. We are agreed that all possible diplomatic means need to be brought into play in order to translate the Geneva statement into reality. The clock is ticking. Each new escalation will make the conflict more and more difficult to resolve.
While a lot of political energy is currently being directed towards our Eastern partners, we should not lose sight of our neighbours to the south.
The revolutions in the Arab world were sparked, more than three years ago, in Tunis. Tunisia is to date the only country in the region to have mastered several crucial stages of the road towards democracy and a strong civil society. The courage and determination of the people in Tunisia merit our full support.
In commemorating the First World War, we look not only to the past but, without question, to the future too. The horrific consequences of that time when diplomacy failed spell out a warning and make our duty clear. Germany and France want to remember together and to shape the future together.
Between 23 and 25 April, Foreign Ministers Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Laurent Fabius will be engaging in extensive talks with high-level representatives of Governments and opposition parties in Chisinau, Tbilisi and Tunis.
The focus in Paris will be on attending the event 1914‑2014: Of the Failure of and the Need for Diplomacy in joint commemoration of the First World War.