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Putin, Poroshenko, Merkel, Hollande To Meet Next Month

Reports say Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will meet with the French and German leaders in Paris in early October to discuss efforts to resolve the Ukraine conflict.

The meeting of Putin, Poroshenko, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Francois Hollande would be the first face-to-face talks by the four since they met in mid-February to forge a cease-fire agreement in Minsk.

The meeting was reported by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, which cited France's Elysee Palace, the official residence of the French president.

TASS reported that the date of the meeting would be October 2.

The Elysee Palace said in a statement that the four leaders had spoken via phone on September 9 for about 90 minutes and that they agreed that a general cease-fire in eastern Ukraine between government troops and Russian-backed separatist fighters has generally held since September 1.

It added that they said everything must be done to continue the cease-fire's observance and to "allow the OSCE special observer mission to have permanent, safe, and unrestricted access" to the conflict areas.

At least 7,900 people have been killed in the fighting in Ukraine since April 2014.

Based on reporting by Reuters, TASS, and RIA Novosti

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