Georgia ready for international inspection in Kodori Gorge

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TBILISI, July 31 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia is ready for an international inspection of its law enforcers in the Kodori Gorge, the Georgian defense minister said Monday.

"We are ready to let the international inspection in the Kodori Gorge, but only after an international inspection has been held at the Russian military base in Gudaut," Irakli Okruashvili said.

He also confirmed armed forces were involved in the police operation in the Kodori Gorge.

Okruashvili said the Defense Ministry's units had rendered logistic assistance to the police.

Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said earlier Monday that Georgia's armed units that entered the Kodori Gorge in the country's breakaway region of Abkhazia on July 25 could be inspected by international observers.

"UN observers and peacekeepers are demanding an inspection of what Georgia calls police troops there," he said.

Georgian troops entered the Kodori Gorge to disarm a rebellious militia unit led by Emzar Kvitsiani, a former presidential envoy to Abkhazia. The gorge is the de facto border between Georgia and Abkhazia.

Georgia earlier maintained that it was a police operation, but Russian peacekeepers stationed in the region reported that Georgia had deployed military units in the area.

"This morning, Russian peacekeepers noticed about 50 vehicles, including 40 trucks, moving to the Kodori Gorge from Georgia," said Igor Konashenkov, deputy commander of the of the Russian Land Forces. The forces also registered a transfer of over 500 servicemen to the gorge, he said.

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