Brussels "extremely concerned" by Georgia fighting

Other News Materials 8 August 2008 15:52 (UTC +04:00)

The European Union's executive is "extremely concerned" by the spiralling violence in Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia and urges all sides to stop fighting, a statement released in Brussels said Friday, reported dpa.

The European Commission is "extremely concerned at the reports of heavy fighting in the South Ossetian conflict zone and deplores the loss of lives," the statement said.

The commission "calls for an immediate end to hostilities, and for a swift return to negotiations in the framework of existing formats. The EU stands ready to increase its contribution to conflict resolution in Georgia with confidence-building measures," it said.

The EU has long been involved in conflict-resolution and confidence-building projects in the Georgian breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

However, tensions between the two regions and Tbilisi have soared in recent months. Fighting broke out between Georgian government forces and South Ossetian troops on Saturday.

The EU insists that the two regions are a legal part of Georgia, a stance a commission spokesman confirmed Friday.