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EU Envoy Expected To Visit South Ossetia

24 August 2004 -- A European Union envoy is expected to visit South Ossetia today for talks with the separatist Georgian region's leader Eduard Kokoity.

EU representative Heikki Talvitie said he continues to urge the South Ossetian and Georgian sides to hold to a cease-fire and continue a political dialogue. He also has pledged the EU's readiness to contribute to the economic revival of the conflict area.

Talvitie met yesterday in Tbilisi with Georgian officials and the Russian and U.S. ambassadors.

The last few days have seen calm in South Ossetia following repeated nights of mortar and gunfire between South Ossetian fighters and Georgian troops.

South Ossetia has been de facto independent since breaking away from Georgia in the early 1990s. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has pledged to reunite the region with the rest of the country.

(ITAR-TASS/Caucasus Press/AP)

For the latest news on the tensions in South Ossetia, see RFE/RL's webpage on Ossetia and Georgia.