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OSCE Says Georgia Monitor Talks Suspended

VIENNA (Reuters) -- Talks between Russia and European officials on sending more monitors to Georgia have broken down over disagreements on which areas they would be allowed to go to, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said.

"We don't see the point of continuing negotiations. The area of responsibility for monitors is the main sticking point," said the OSCE Permanent Council Chairman, Antti Turunen of Finland.

Russia sent forces deep into Georgia in August after beating back an attempt by Tbilisi to retake the separatist, pro-Russian region of South Ossetia.

The OSCE agreed in principle last month to send 100 monitors to the area and 20 were deployed immediately after the war. But talks had been dragging on since then over their right to access all areas in the zone.

"We cannot force the negotiations forward here at the diplomatic level, so we will now consult with our home governments for new instructions," Turunen said. "That will take some days at least."

Turunen said he expected the current monitors to stay and work under the rules agreed previously. Including eight monitors who were in Georgia before the war, the OSCE now has 28 monitors there.