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Georgian Minister Discusses South Ossetia With U.S. Envoy

(RFE/RL) 31 October 2005 -- Georgia's Conflict Resolution Minister Giorgi Khaindrava today discussed Tbilisi's latest peace proposals on South Ossetia with U.S. Ambassador John Tefft.

Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli unveiled the plan at a 27 October meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna.

The plan envisions that the OSCE, the European Union, the United States, and Russia help Georgia and its separatist republic of South Ossetia settle their dispute.

It also calls for further steps to demilitarize the conflict zone and the creation of a donor-sponsored fund to rehabilitate the area.

The U.S. has welcomed the Georgian proposals, saying it is ready to help implement them.

Georgian Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili on 30 October denied that the plan seeks to sideline Russia.

South Ossetia has been maintaining close ties with Russia since it forcibly won de facto independence in the early 1990s.

(Civil Georgia/Novosti Gruziya)