Georgia

Background: Six-point peace plan for the Georgia-Russia conflict

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Paris_(dpa) _ Through European Union mediation, Russia and Georgia have agreed to a six-point deal to diffuse their military conflict in South Ossetia.

The agreement is not a peace settlement but provides the basis for a legally binding text to end the fighting and pave the way for a political solution.

The United Nations Security Council is to formalize the six principles.

The draft contrasts with that of the French EU presidency on the issues of South Ossetia's affiliation to Georgia and it entrusts security in Georgia's breakaway province to Russian peacekeepers stationed there before the crisis.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Georgian counterpart Mikheil Saakashvili agreed to all six points in talks with French President and current EU head Nicolas Sarkozy on August 12.

The six principles:

1. No recourse to use violence between the protagonists. Sarkozy: This applies to everyone: Ossetians, Abkhazians, Georgia in its entirety and Russians.

2. The cessation of hostilities.

3. The granting of access to humanitarian aid.

4. The return of Georgian armed forces to their usual quarters.

5. Russian armed forces to withdraw to the positions held before hostilities began in South Ossetia. Russian peacekeepers to implement additional security measures until an international monitoring mechanism is in place. Sarkozy: These measures affect only the immediate vicinity of South Ossetia and in no instance the entire territory of Georgia.

6. The opening of international discussions on the modalities of security and stability of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Sarkozy negotiated the agreement with Medvedev and Saakashvili. The sixth point was added at the Georgian leader's request. Saakashvili had originally referred to discussions on the "future status" of its breakaway provinces, stressing these words. Medvedev agreed via telephone, but Saakashvili later stuck these out. Moscow said this would ultimately be up to "the people" to decide.

The framework plan falls short of the original proposal by the EU presidency. The draft had called for the "full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia" and the deployment of a EU or UN peacekeeping force. dpa hn bve pmc

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