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South Ossetia Threatens To Boycott Tbilisi Meeting

(RFE/RL) 16 January 2006 -- Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia is threatening not to send its negotiators to a meeting of the international group that monitors implementation of the 1992 cease-fire agreed by South Ossetia and Georgia.

South Ossetia's chief negotiator, Boris Chochiev, said his team would attend the 18-19 January meeting of the Joint Control Commission, to be held in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, only if Georgia apologizes for a statement made in November in which Georgian Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili threatened to arrest the South Ossetian leadership.

Georgia's Conflict Resolution Minister Giorgi Khaindrava accused the South Ossetians of seeking to drag out peace negotiations.

The Joint Control Commission includes Russia and its southern republic of North Ossetia as well as Georgia and South Ossetia.

South Ossetia wants the meeting to be held in the North Ossetian capital of Vladikavkaz.

(Civil Georgia, Interfax)

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