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Security Council Extends Georgia Observer Mission


The United Nations Security Council has voted to extend the 15-year U.N. monitoring mission in Georgia for another four months.

The council adopted a resolution Friday that renews the mandate for U.N. cease-fire observers in the breakaway region of Abkhazia until June. The existing mandate was to expire on Sunday.

All 15 members of the council supported the resolution, including Russia, which said earlier this week that it was satisfied with the text.

The mandate became politicized after last year's conflict between Russia and Georgia over another Georgian breakaway region, South Ossetia.

Russia recognized both breakaway regions as independent countries after invading Georgia in August.

Russia's U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said earlier this week that the text of the draft of the resolution added some important political elements.

The French news agency says the resolution does not mention Georgia by name or refer to the mission by its official name, the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia or UNOMIG.

Abkhaz separatists had complained about the use of "Georgia" in the name, saying they would not allow U.N. monitors to continue their work unless the reference was removed.

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