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A Georgian delegation set to attend talks in Geneva will press
A Georgian delegation set to attend talks in Geneva will press for an international peacekeeping presence in its breakaway regions, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

The second round of international talks following a brief conflict between Russia and Georgia in August will begin in Geneva on Tuesday.

The first round on October 15 was suspended after Georgia refused to attend meetings involving breakaway republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which were recognized by Russia as independent states following the conflict.

"The Georgian delegation will insist on the formation of an international peacekeeping contingent and its deployment in Abkhazia and South Ossetia," the ministry said. "The force should have a policing role and replace the so called Russian peacekeepers."

Georgia will also press for the withdrawal of Russian troops from its Akhalgori district and the village of Perevi, the ministry said, adding Russia's presence there was in violation of the French-brokered ceasefire agreement.

Russia reported a complete pullout from undisputed Georgian territory ahead of an agreed October 10 deadline. Russian troops have been replaced by an EU monitoring mission tasked with ensuring security along the border with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Both Abkhazia and South Ossetia have refused to allow EU observers on their territory.

Russia has retained a presence in Akhalgori, however, as Moscow maintains the area is part of Abkhazia that had been occupied by Georgian troops.

Russia has also retained a checkpoint in Perevi, on the border with South Ossetia. Tbilisi said last week South Ossetian troops had briefly occupied the village. South Ossetia said its forces had only entered a part of the village that was within its territory.

Talks in Geneva will involve both breakaway republics, Russia, the United States, and will be co-chaired by the European Union, the UN and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Russia sent troops into ex-Soviet Georgia in early August in response to a Georgian offensive to retake South Ossetia, which broke away from Tbilisi in the early 1990s.


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