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Saakashvili Says South Ossetia Issue Could Be Resolved

(RFE/RL) BAKU, June 19, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- President Mikheil Saakashvili has warned separatists in Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia that their time "is coming to an end," RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reported.

Saakashvili, speaking at the concluding session of the GUAM summit in Baku today, said his government is beginning negotiations on South Ossetia's autonomy with the temporary administration which is backed by Tbilisi.

He said resolution of the issue is a "matter of months."

South Ossetia Cease-Fire

South Ossetia Cease-Fire

Former Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze (RFE/RL)

'NO OTHER WAY OUT': Georgia's parliament on February 15 called upon the government to review the 1992 agreement that put an end to the war with South Ossetia and secure the withdrawal of all Russian peacekeepers stationed in the separatist republic. Officials in Tbilisi have long accused the Russian soldiers of siding with the separatist forces and posing a threat to Georgia's national security. Russia has protested the Georgian vote, arguing that Tbilisi has no right unilaterally to amend the 1992 peace agreement. Georgia, in turn, says it has the right to do so.

RFE/RL's Georgian Service correspondent Nona Mchedlishvili asked former President EDUARD SHEVARDNADZE, who signed the agreement with his then Russian counterpart, Boris Yeltsin, to comment on the dispute....(more)

See also:

Tbilisi Seeks EU Support As Tensions Rise In South Ossetia

Tbilisi, Moscow At Odds Over South Ossetia Resolution