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Officials Say Georgia May Declare Its Territory Foreign Troop-Free

2 December 2005 -- Georgian Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili said today that his country may pass a law banning the deployment of foreign military bases on national soil provided Tbilisi and Moscow settle all their pending disputes.

Bezhuashvili made those remarks in Kiyv, where he attended the creation of the Community of Democratic Choice, a regional grouping made up of nine countries from the Balkan, Baltic, and Black Sea regions.

The head of the Georgian parliament's Defense and Security Committee, Givi Targamadze, said in Tbilisi today that a prerequisite for the adoption of the law would be for Russia to make concessions on South Ossetia and Abkhazia. He did not elaborate further.

Russia has agreed to vacate the two military bases it maintains in Georgia by the end of 2008. But it fears Georgia may invite NATO troops in after it pulls out.

(Prime News/Novosti-Gruziya)