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A soldier in South Ossetia (file photo) (AFP)
9 February 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Georgia today appealed to the United States and Europe to become involved in the slow-moving negotiations over the political status of South Ossetia as an autonomous part of Georgia.
At present, the talks involve only Russia, South and North Ossetia, and Georgia.
Georgia’s foreign minister, Gela Bezhuashvili, told a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Permanent Council in Vienna that little progress had been made since early December when the OSCE foreign ministers recognized a peace plan presented by Georgia as a basis for settling the conflict.
Bezhuashvili proposed that the U.S. and the EU should send a high-level delegation as political observers to the next round of negotiations and urged support from all other members of the OSCE.
The head of the U.S. delegation, Julie Finley, told the meeting that Washington also believed that including other OSCE members in the talks could help the negotiations.
She called on all parties -- particularly the South Ossetians -- to demonstrate the political will to bring the conflict to a peaceful resolution.