PACE to send envoys to Georgia-S.Ossetia conflict zone

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The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will form a working group to monitor the situation in the zone of the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict, a senior Russian lawmaker said Friday.
PARIS, September 5 (RIA Novosti) - The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will form a working group to monitor the situation in the zone of the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict, a senior Russian lawmaker said Friday.

"A special working group, comprising members of all political groups and heads of committees on political issues and refugees, will be set up to investigate the circumstances of the events," Konstantin Kosachyov, who heads the State Duma's international affairs committee, said.

The Caucasus conflict became a central issue for discussion at the session of the PACE Bureau in Paris on Friday.

Russia and Georgia fought a brief war after Tbilisi launched in early August an attack aimed at bringing the breakaway pro-Russian region of South Ossetia back under its control. Russia's operation to "force Georgia to peace" was criticized in the West as excessive, and its subsequent recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as yet has been followed only by Nicaragua.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution Wednesday urging Russia to withdraw its troops from Georgia under a ceasefire agreement with the Caucasus state.

"We hope that PACE will withstand the temptation to play another geopolitical game by supporting one of the parties and will be able to speak out against war and the use of force to solve such conflicts by defending the victims of aggression, a position that Russia always takes," Kosachyov said.

Kosachyov added that Russia was disappointed that PACE had failed to react against Georgia's actions in the first days of the war.

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