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Georgian PM For 'Direct Dialogue' With Breakaway Regions

Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili attends a wreath-laying ceremony at a cemetery in Tbilisi on August 8.
TBILISI -- Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili says Tbilisi is ready for "direct dialogue with our Ossetian and Abkhazian brothers."

The comment came in a speech to newly enlisted soldiers in the eastern city of Gori on August 8 -- the fifth anniversary of the Georgian-Russian war over Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia.

Ivanishvili said Georgia should have the strength "to forgive" but also to admit its "own mistakes." He did not say what those were.

Ivanishvili also said that Georgia must normalize relations with Russia and reintegrate Abkhazia and South Ossetia into Georgia.

The five-day war of August 2008 resulted in Russian forces pushing Georgian troops out of South Ossetia and Moscow recognizing the independence of South Ossetia and Georgia's other separatist region of Abkhazia.

Russia has troops stationed in both territories.

With reporting by