Georgia President Suggests Stage By Stage Settlement Plan

UNITED NATIONS (Itar-Tass)–Speaking at the 59th UN General Assembly session on Tuesday–Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili presented a stage-by-stage plan of settling the Abkhazian and South Ossetian conflicts.

The first stage of the plan would include concrete confidence-building measures–specifically the exchange of people and goods–joint economic projects–and the restoration of the right of displaced persons to return home.

The second stage–he said–provides for material guarantees of the dismantling of military bases–demilitarization–internationalization of peacekeeping efforts–as well as international monitoring aimed at achieving a peaceful settlement.

According to Saakashvili–the third stage includes the granting of the broadest possible autonomy to Abkhazia and South Ossetia–which would ensure "the protection of their culture and language–local government–fiscal control" and equal participation in the settlement of all problems–which fall under the jurisdiction of the national government.


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