South Ossetia to discuss Georgia’s peace proposal in Geneva

December 9th, 2010 - 1:39 am ICT by BNO News  

MOSCOW, RUSSIA (BNO NEWS) — South Ossetia presidential envoy Boris Chochiev on Wednesday announced that the independent state will discuss the peace proposal sent by Georgia to the international community in Geneva on December 16, RIA Novosti reported.

Chochiev added that South Ossetia expects progress in the announced round of talks as well as discussing two important issues: the non-use of force commitment and the status of refugees and international observers.

The upcoming meetings on security in the South Caucasus in Geneva are backed by the United Nations, the European Union and the OSCE. The talks will have the participation of Russia, Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Similar talks were first held in October 2008, following the five-day war between Georgia and South Ossetia. The armed conflict began after Georgian forces attacked South Ossetia in a failed attempt to bring it back under central control.

On Tuesday, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili announced the sending of peace proposals for Abkhazia and South Ossetia to the international community. In late November, the Georgian leader voiced his peace initiative in a speech to the European Parliament.

Saakashvili assured that his country would never use force to restore its territorial integrity and sovereignty and will instead use diplomatic and peaceful means to ensure the removal of occupation forces and its reunification.

However, neither South Ossetia nor Abkhazia intends to rejoin Georgia and both have declared themselves as independent nations but are only recognized by Russia, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Georgia still considers the region as part of its country, as most of the world’s governments do.

South Ossetian authorities said that approximately 1,500 people were killed during the August conflict with Georgia. A total of 162 citizens of the republic were confirmed as dead and 67 Russian soldiers were killed too.

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