Ukraine leaders propose 'round table' on eastern rebellion

The statement on the presidential website appeared to contain nothing radically new, but did reflect substantial elements of a Swiss draft peace "Road Map"

Ukraine leaders propose 'round table' on eastern rebellion

World Bulletin/News Desk

Ukraine's acting president and prime minister proposed on Thursday the creation of a "round table" to resolve conflict in the country, drawing in political forces and civil groups from all regions, and invited international mediators to help

Acting President Oleksander Turchinov and Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, in a joint statement, also repeated their position that they would offer an amnesty to those who did not have "blood on their hands" from fighting in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian forces are conducting an anti-Kiev insurgency.

The statement on the presidential website appeared to contain nothing radically new, but did reflect substantial elements of a draft peace "Road Map" presented on Thursday in Kiev by the Swiss chair of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The road map had been discussed on Wednesday in Moscow.

"Today we declare an initiative for creation of all-Ukrainian round tables of national unity. We are ready to talk with all those who have legitimate political goals and are ready to pursue them by legal means - with those who do not have blood on their hands," the statement said.

"To facilitate the most effective possible conduct of this process we consider it expedient to draw upon the experience of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe."

Kiev has said it will not negotiate with "terrorists", its term for those leading the rebellion in the east. Moscow rejects that term and says Ukrainian leaders must talk with all parties, implicitly including those Kiev brands as terrorists.

The two-page Swiss plan, seen by Reuters, said "all acts of violence must be promptly investigated and prosecuted accordingly" and that the OSCE would back such measures with a hotline and an expert team that could be operational by May 15.

However, an amnesty would be granted to "protesters and those who have left buildings and other public places and surrendered weapons, with the exception of those found guilty of capital crimes".

It listed various measures the 57-nation body - which includes Russia - could help with, including mediation, disarmament and the launch of a broad national dialogue.

Last Mod: 08 Mayıs 2014, 23:49
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