Russia, Georgia to hold new talks in January

Russia and Georgia have agreed to hold a new round of talks on January 28 next year, aimed at reducing tensions following their five-day war in August 2008. Representatives of the two sides met for the eight time in Geneva on Wednesday for what a European Union mediator described as a generally positive meeting.

EU official Pierre Morel said after the talks that the participants engaged “in a substantial discussion that achieved some progress.”

Morel oversaw the day-long talks, together with representatives of the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Delegates from the breakaway Georgian republic of South Ossetia and Abkhazia were also present at the meeting, which discussed efforts to stabilize the region and the fate of displaced persons.

Tens of thousands were left homeless when Russian forces invaded South Ossetia after Georgia sent its troops into the territory in August 2008.

UN envoy Johan Verbeke said the talks so far had managed to reduce blown up issues to their true significance.

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