Germany Proposes EU Georgia ‘Neighborhood’ Meeting

BERLIN (Reuters)-‘s German Chancellor Angela Merkel has proposed that the European Union stage a ‘neighborhood conference’ for Georgia which will include bordering states such as Armenia and Azerbaijan, a government spokesman’said on Saturday.

‘This is solely a conference aimed at supporting and strengthening Georgia in economic terms,’ government spokesman Thomas Steg said. ‘It’s not a conference aimed at finding a political solution to the conflict.’

German weekly magazine Der Spiegel said Merkel’s vision was for neighboring countries like Armenia and Azerbaijan to participate in the conference, but not Russia.

‘A decision about the whether, when and who is entirely the responsibility of the EU presidency,’ another spokesman’said.

The proposal had been forwarded to France, which currently holds the six-month rotating presidency of the EU.

Georgia has suffered extensive damage to housing and infrastructure since a Russian military intervention earlier this month in response to Georgia’s attack on its breakaway region of South Ossetia.


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