Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Russia commits to Georgia pull-back

BARVIKHA, Russia (AFP) — Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili gave a qualified welcome Tuesday to the news that Russia had agreed to pull its troops from all of Georgia except two separatist regions.

Saakashvili insisted that any long-term solution to the conflict had to respect his country's territorial integrity -- including the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Earlier, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had pledged to pull back from Georgia apart from the two breakaway regions, after talks Monday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who led a European Union delegation.

But Moscow's recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia was "irrevocable", said Medvedev.

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