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Saakashvili: Georgia Doesn't Want Conflict With South Ossetia


http://gdb.rferl.org/150C8EB1-D29F-4413-9F19-18A5B86A1EF8_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/150C8EB1-D29F-4413-9F19-18A5B86A1EF8_mw800_mh600.jpg Mikheil Saakashvili (file photo) 11 July 2004 -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili today said Georgia is committed to avoiding a conflict with separatist South Ossetia that could lead to a war.

Speaking to a crowd of some 300 Ossetians in Tbilisi, Saakashvili said Georgia is doing everything to avoid such a conflict.

His remarks come as Georgian and South Ossetian authorities are trading new accusations of violence in South Ossetia.

South Ossetian authorities today said that a South Ossetian police station came under fire overnight from the direction of an ethnic Georgian village. Yesterday, three Georgian troops and a civilian were wounded when a village came under fire.

South Ossetia declared de facto independence from Georgia in 1992 and has expressed interest in joining Russia. Tbilisi is seeking to reassert central control over the territory.

(ITAR-TASS/AFP/AP)
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