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Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili in September (RFE/RL)
15 November 2005 -- A South Ossetian official said today that the situation in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict has worsened since Mikheil Saakashvili became Georgian president.
Boris Chochiev, the cochairman of the South Ossetian party to two-day joint talks on
the conflict, said Georgia is using economic blockades and the threat of military force to put pressure on the separatist province.
The talks opened today in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana.
Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, the current OSCE chairman, opened the talks by urging participants to use dialogue to solve the conflict peacefully.
Representatives from South Ossetia, Georgia, Russia, and North Ossetia are participating in the talks. But Georgia has objected to Russia's strong support of South Ossetia, and has called for the United States and the European Union to join the talks.