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Georgia Urges OSCE To Help Settle Separatist Conflicts

(RFE/RL) 7 December 2005 -- Georgia is calling upon the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to take a more active part in helping settle its longtime separatist conflicts with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Georgian media say Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili made the plea at this week's OSCE annual conference in Ljubljana.

Bezhuashvili, in particular, urged the OSCE to monitor alleged human rights violations in Abkhazia's southern Gali district, which is home to a sizeable ethnic Georgian community. He also called for the deployment of an international police force in Gali.

The OSCE annual conference on 6 November issued a statement, in which it reiterated its support to Georgia's territorial integrity. While welcoming Tbilisi's initiatives to peacefully settled its dispute with South Ossetia, the signatories said they regretted that violent incidents continue in the conflict zone.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia both forcefully won de facto independence in the early 1990s.

(Novosti-Gruziya/Civil Georgia/OSCE statement)