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President Mikheil Saakashvili said Monday Georgia was ready to settle
President Mikheil Saakashvili said Monday Georgia was ready to settle all issues with Russia through dialogue "based on civilized relations" only after Russian troops withdraw from the ex-Soviet republic.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a French-brokered peace plan in Moscow on Saturday, a day after Saakashvili signed it in Tbilisi.

"No matter what happened between us, Georgia is always open to settling all problems through dialogue, or talks based on civilized relations," Saakashvili said in a televised address.

Georgia launched an offensive to retake its separatist republic of South Ossetia on August 8. The majority of residents of South Ossetia hold Russian citizenship, and Moscow launched a massive operation to expel Georgian troops from the region and to reinforce its peacekeepers.

Georgian Defense Minister David Kezerashvili said Monday 133 servicemen had been killed during the fighting near South Ossetia's capital, Tskhinvali, and another 50 were missing.

The Georgian Health Ministry said earlier 177 servicemen had been killed.

Saakashvili warned Russia that the deployment of its troops in Georgia was "catastrophic" for itself and for its prospects.

"You will not attain your goal, which has already been made clear to everyone. Georgia will not fall apart, Tbilisi has not run empty. The government is in place. The Georgian army has not been and will not be destroyed. Most importantly, the Georgians' spirit has not been broken," the Georgian leader said.

He said Russia had secured itself "a long-term isolation from the entire world" and urged steps to prevent isolation between Georgians and Russians.

"As soon as your army leaves Georgia, we should start considering further talks to find an appropriate format of further contacts so that our countries do not get finally isolated," the Georgian leader said.

Medvedev said Sunday during a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy that Russian troops would start their pullout from Georgia on Monday.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave Georgia her country's backing at a news conference on Wednesday, saying: "As to choosing, the United States has made very clear that it is standing by the democratically elected government of Georgia."


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