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President Outlines Peace Plan for Abkhazia, South Ossetia

In an address to the UN General Assembly on 21 September, President Mikheil Saakashvili said that Tbilisi is committed to resolving its conflicts with the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia solely by peaceful means, RFE/RL's UN correspondent reported.

Saakashvili outlined a three-stage plan for resolving both conflicts, according to rustavi2.com. The plan calls for: confidence-building measures; demilitarization of the conflict zones; OSCE monitoring of the Roki tunnel linking South Ossetia and Russia; the deployment of UN observers along the border between Abkhazia and Russia; and the granting of "the fullest and broadest form of autonomy" to the two republics.

Saakashvili said autonomy would protect the Abkhaz and Ossetian languages and cultures, and guarantee self-governance, fiscal control, and "meaningful representation and power-sharing" at the national level.

He also discussed the peace plan separately with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, according to rustavi2.com.

(RFE/RL 22.ix.04)

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