Europe

Germany hosts foreign ministers from 57-nation OSCE

  • German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier gives a statement at the Hotel Atlantic before the start of the OSCE Meeting in Hamburg, Germany,  Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. More than 50 Foreign ministers are expected for the conference of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe on Dec. 8 and 9, 2016.   (Christian Charisius/dpa via AP)

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier gives a statement at the Hotel Atlantic before the start of the OSCE┬áMeeting in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. More than 50 Foreign ministers are expected for the conference of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe on Dec. 8 and 9, 2016. (Christian Charisius/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • US  Secretary of State, John Kerry, uses his mobile phone  in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday Dec. 7, 2016. Kerry will attend  the meeting of the  Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe,  OSCE,  council of ministers on Dec, 8 and Dec. 9 2016. (Bodo Marks/dpa vis AP)

    US Secretary of State, John Kerry, uses his mobile phone in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday Dec. 7, 2016. Kerry will attend the meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, OSCE, council of ministers on Dec, 8 and Dec. 9 2016. (Bodo Marks/dpa vis AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, right, welcomes Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, for a meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) council of foreign ministers in Hamburg, Germany, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, right, welcomes Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, for a meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) council of foreign ministers in Hamburg, Germany, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)  (The Associated Press)

Foreign ministers from the 57-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe are meeting in Germany, which says the group is needed more than ever to bolster dialogue between east and west.

The two-day meeting opening at Hamburg's trade fair grounds Thursday under heavy police protection isn't expected to produce concrete decisions.

But German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who holds the OSCE's rotating chairmanship this year, said that "the OSCE has become even more important in these times of crisis as an organization to preserve peace and security in Europe." The group has deployed monitors to oversee peace efforts in Ukraine.

Steinmeier and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry both met separately with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Wednesday evening ahead of the meeting to discuss Syria, among other issues.