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Georgia, South Ossetia Agree Pullout Of Armed Groups

6 November 2004 -- The Russian Foreign Ministry announced today that Georgia and its breakaway region of South Ossetia have set a 20 November deadline to withdraw armed groups from their border zone.

The agreement came after a meeting yesterday between Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania and South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi.

The Russia-hosted talks ended with an agreement to demilitarize a conflict zone along the region's border.

The only armed group allowed to remain inside the zone will be the trilateral peacekeeping force of Georgians, South Ossetians, and Russians.

South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia in the early 1990s. But since coming to power in late 2003, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has vowed to restore control over Georgia's rebellious provinces.