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Germany willing to send 40 observers to Georgia

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Germany willing to send 40 observers to Georgia
A Russian soldier at a checkpoint in Georgia. Photo: DPA
14:27 CEST+02:00
Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany is ready to contribute about 40 of the 200 EU observers to be deployed in Georgia under a new peace plan, in a statement released Thursday.

"Germany will not shirk its responsibilities in the Caucasus conflict," her office said, summarising remarks she made late Wednesday at an awards ceremony held by a publishing house. "About one-fifth of the EU observers in Georgia are to come from Germany."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose nation holds the EU presidency, brokered an agreement Monday in Moscow on the deployment of at least 200 EU observers by October 1 to monitor a ceasefire as Russian troops withdraw.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of EU observers gaining access to Georgia's breakaway enclaves of Abkhazia and South Ossetia under the plan.

Merkel said the exact division of labour between the European Union and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), with their parallel observer missions in Georgia still had to be determined. She said Russian solders should be replaced by OSCE observers in the buffer zones around South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

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