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    Merkel to discuss South Ossetia-Georgia conflict in Sochi

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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to travel to Sochi on Friday for a meeting with the Russian president to discuss the recent Georgian-South Ossetian conflict, a Kremlin source said on Thursday.

    MOSCOW, August 14 (RIA Novosti) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to travel to Sochi on Friday for a meeting with the Russian president to discuss the recent Georgian-South Ossetian conflict, a Kremlin source said on Thursday.

    The source said the meeting between Merkel and Dmitry Medvedev, "will focus on the Caucasus crisis," and "prospects for a peaceful settlement based on the peace plan," following Tuesday's cessation in fighting in the region.

    However, Merkel's spokesman Thomas Steg told reporters in Berlin on Wednesday that during the meeting the chancellor would "make it clear" to the Russian president that the "sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Georgia are non-negotiable."

    The presidents of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoity, and Abkhazia, Sergei Bagapsh, signed a peace plan in Moscow at a meeting with the Russian president on Thursday. The French-brokered peace agreement, which requires an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of forces, was agreed by Russia and Georgia Tuesday.

    Fighting erupted on August 8 in the volatile South Caucasus region when Georgian forces launched an attack on Tskhinvali, the capital of breakaway South Ossetia. In response Russia launched a counter offensive to expel Georgian troops from the region and to reinforce Russian peacekeepers.

    The agenda for Friday's meeting will also include an "exchange of ideas" on a pan-European summit to draft a common security treaty, first voiced by President Medvedev in June during an official visit to Germany.

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