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    RUSSIA, GEORGIA SETTLE HUMANITARIAN AID INCIDENT

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    TBILISI, July 15 (RIA Novosti) - Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has authorised a convoy with Russian humanitarian aid for the Tskhinvali region (the name for the self-proclaimed Republic of South Ossetia used by Georgia) to enter the region.

    "President Mikhail Saakashvili has displayed good will towards the Ossetian population of the Tskhinvali region. The humanitarian aid will be delivered to the village of Tsinagari and accompanied by Georgian officials who will monitor its distribution," said Mikhail Kareli, Governor of the neighbouring Shida region.

    The Georgian president's fund will cover the customs clearance costs, according to Mr Kareli.

    General Nabzdorov, in command of the peacekeeping contingent deployed in the region, confirmed that "the convoy with humanitarian aid would head for the Tsinagara village, its destination point, today." The general added that the Georgian president would clear the cargo through customs himself.

    The convoy of the peacekeepers' trucks will leave the Georgian village of Ergneti for villages in South Ossetia shortly.

    The convoy with aid provided by Russia's Emergencies Ministry for the region was arrested by Georgian authorities in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone on Tuesday, July 13. Tbilisi claimed the cargo could not be qualified as humanitarian as no relevant agreement whatsoever had been reached with the Georgian president. Georgia's customs authorities qualified the cargo as commercial and demanded that it should go through customs.

    However, General Nabzdorov said Mr Saakashvili had given his consent earlier. "This is the cargo in question. It was kept at a warehouse until recently," said Mr Nabzdorov.

    Besides, the general emphasised that the peacekeeping mandate allowed Russia to provide humanitarian aid to those living within the conflict zone.

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