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Alternative South Ossetian Leader Addresses European Parliament

Dmitry Sanakoyev, head of the Georgian-backed administration in South Ossetia (file photo) (RFE/RL) June 26, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The pro-Tbilisi alternative leader of Georgia's separatist region of South Ossetia has delivered his first-ever speech at the European Parliament, RFE/RL's Georgian Service reported.

Speaking in Ossetian, Dmitry Sanakoyev called on the international community to participate more actively in finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Tbilisi and South Ossetia, whose self-declared government is backed by Russia.

He accused forces in Moscow and in South Ossetia of seeking to "poison" relations between Georgians and Ossetians.

Following his address in Brussels, Sanakoyev told journalists that his government would not stray from its path.

"I don't think our initiatives today obstruct Russia's highest political interests," he said. "I think they obstruct certain forces in Russia that are coordinating the work of [South Ossetian de facto leader Eduard] Kokoity's regime in Tskhinvali. It is not a big concern for us because we know that we're on the right path and we will follow this path vigorously."

(with material from Caucasus Press)

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