Diplomatic push for Ukraine peace focus at Munich conference


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MUNICH (AP) — Top world leaders, diplomats and defense officials are converging on Munich for a security conference that comes amid a frantic diplomatic push to end the violence in eastern Ukraine.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was already in Munich on Friday following talks in Kiev the day before, and was planning on meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif ahead of the opening of the three-day conference.

Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to be on hand by Saturday, following Friday evening talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Francois Hollande. Ukrainian President Petro Poroschenko, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are also flying in.

The meeting comes as France and Germany are pushing a peace plan reportedly incorporating proposals from Russia.

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