International talks on Russia-Georgia conflict resume in Geneva
A new round of international talks started here on Tuesday with the aim of resolving outstanding security and humanitarian issues left over by the Russia-Georgia conflict last August, Xinhua reported.
Present at the two-day meeting are representatives from Russia, Georgia, the United States and Georgia's two breakaway regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
The meeting is co-chaired by officials from the United Nations, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
The parties had held three previous rounds of meetings in Geneva, but reached no final agreement on how to restore full stability and security in the region and how to help refugees and displaced people.
Issues to be further discussed at the latest round of talks include a security mechanism, which aims to prevent and resolve armed incidents. The future of observer missions from the OSCE and EU are also likely to be raised.
Like the previous three rounds of talks, the new discussions are being held in working groups, instead of formal plenary sessions, in order to keep away from the sensitive status issue of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Russia recognized the two regions as independent states shortly after the end of a five-day war with Georgia last August, in which Russian troops defeated Georgian forces trying to regain control over South Ossetia.
Shootings and abductions have been reported along the de facto border between Georgia and South Ossetia since the armed conflict ended, with both sides blaming each other for continuing violence.
Both South Ossetia and Abkhazia split from Georgia amid bloody post-Soviet conflicts. The majority of residents of both republics have had Russian citizenship for many years.