French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, had agreed to a six-point peace plan to settle the conflict over South Ossetia.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili agreed to a modified version of a six-point ceasefire proposal by French President Nicolas Sarkozy late Tuesday, capping a day of frantic diplomatic efforts to settle the crisis over South Ossetia.
The changes regarding the final status of the breakaway province and future security arrangements in the volatile region were approved by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, according to Sarkozy.
Under the plan, both Russia and Georgia have agreed to cease hostilities and withdraw their troops to lines preceding the current conflagration, which erupted last week.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Sarkozy in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, Saakashvili welcomed the plan. “It is a political document,” he said. “It is an agreement of principles ... and I think we have full coincidence of principles.”
The agreement followed intense diplomatic efforts, including several phone conversations with Medvedev to get the Russian president’s approval on the modified text, Sarkozy told reporters in Tbilisi.
The modifications requested by the Georgian leader included an arrangement for the future internationalization of security measures in the volatile region as well as the scrapping of any statements about the future status of the breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
The current crisis in the Caucasus erupted late last week when Russia responded to Georgian military movements in the tense, Russian-backed breakaway province of South Ossetia. It quickly spread to Georgian regions outside South Ossetia and Abkhazia, threatening to destabilize the region and displacing nearly 100,000 people, according to the United Nations.
The peace deal announcement followed talks between Sarkozy and Saakashvili in Tbilisi, where the French president landed after a visit to Moscow earlier Tuesday for talks with Medvedev. At a joint press conference with Sarkozy in Moscow, Medvedev announced a halt to its military incursion into Georgia.
Georgian rally joined by regional heads of state
As Sarkozy and Saakashvili held talks inside the parliament building in downtown Tbilisi late Tuesday, hundreds of thousands of Georgians gathered in a mass display of support for Saakashvili.
The day-long rally, which continued well into the night, was attended by the leaders of Poland, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia in a rousing demonstration of support for Georgia in its faceoff against Russia.
Reporting from the rally at Tbilisi, FRANCE 24’s Robert Parsons said the leaders of the former communist states received a rapturous reception from the crowd. “Georgians are clearly desperate to feel that the outside world is standing with them at this moment and the fact that these five,” he said, referring to the five leaders, “plus Nicolas Sarkozy as representative of the European Union are here, obviously means a lot to them.”
Date created : 2008-08-12