Germany hosts foreign ministers from 57-nation OSCE

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.