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Moldova, Separatists Urged To Restart Talks

5 February 2005 -- A U.S. diplomat yesterday urged Moldova and its pro-Russian breakaway region of Transdniester to restart settlement talks.

Relations between the two sides have been tense recently, with both Moldova and Transdniester accusing each other of preparing for war.

Reunification talks have been suspended since last summer.

Stephan Minikes, U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which is one of the mediators in the conflict, said Moldova and Transdniester "will reach an agreement only if they continue negotiations."

Transdniester broke away from Moldova in 1990. A war in 1992 followed, leaving some 1,500 people dead. The province is not recognized internationally, but receives strong support from Russia.

Moldova's government said on 2 February that Transdniester authorities are massing troops in a demilitarized area that has separated the two sides since 1992.

Transdniester has denied planning any military action against Moldova.


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