European mediators present plan to end Georgia-Russia conflictAugust 11th, 2008 - 11:03 am ICT by IANS
Moscow/Tbilisi, Aug 11 (DPA) The first western mediators in Tbilisi to work for an end to the conflict between Georgia and Russia have called for an immediate ceasefire by all parties. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, whose nation holds the rotating EU presidency, and Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb, head of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), met Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili late Sunday.
The next step would be for all the wounded to be treated during a ceasefire, Kouchner said.
“The third step for a de-escalation would be the withdrawal of all troops on both sides, but a withdrawal accompanied by observers,” he said. This would be followed by a return to political negotiations, said Kouchner, who is to travel to Moscow for talks Monday.
Earlier Sunday, after nearly four days of fighting between Georgian and Russian troops in the breakaway region of South Ossetia, Russian troops were in control of the capital Tskhinvali, as the Georgian government announced a unilateral ceasefire.
There were ongoing reports of continued fighting overnight, including the Russian bombing of the Georgian city of Gori and Georgian artillery fire in Tskhinvali. The reports could not be independently verified.