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Belgian top diplomat says Saakashvili made political mistake

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The Belgian foreign minister said Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili made 'a major political mistake' in regard to South Ossetia, La Libre Belgique newspaper said on Saturday.
BRUSSELS, September 13 (RIA Novosti) - The Belgian foreign minister said Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili made 'a major political mistake' in regard to South Ossetia, La Libre Belgique newspaper said on Saturday.

"Saakashvili made a major political mistake, while Russians played their card," Minister Karel De Gucht told the newspaper.

Western nations have strongly criticized Russia for its response to Georgia's attack and the recognition of Georgia's breakaway provinces, with several countries threatening sanctions and isolation.

The Belgian minister said that in his opinion Europe should not be afraid of Russia, which wants to be acknowledged as one of the key players on the world arena.

"I believe that instead of looking for confrontations with Russia we should be investing into its economy, but taking into account our principles," he said.

Russia recognized South Ossetia along with another breakaway republic of Abkhazia as independent states on August 26, two weeks after it had expelled Georgian troops from South Ossetia following Tbilisi's August 8 military offensive against the republic.

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