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Georgia Willing to Accept International Observers in Part Of Abkhazia


Officials in Georgia have said they are willing to accept international observers in part of a separatist region captured last month, as Russia condemned the operation.

Georgian forces seized the Kodori Gorge in the breakaway province of Abkhazia in late July. Tbilisi maintains the move was part of a "police operation" to root out leaders of a militia movement.

But Russian Army General Valery Yenevich says Georgia's operation in the Kodori Gorge was an excuse to deploy military forces to the region. Yenevich accused Georgia of violating the 1994 ceasefire with Abkhazia.

Last week the United States called for an international police force to be sent to quell violence among armed groups in Abkhazia.

The northern section of the Kodori Gorge is the only area of Abkhazia that remained under Georgian governmental control after the pro-Russian breakaway republic declared independence in the early 1990s. The area was the focus of conflict last month until central government authorities put down a rebellion by a local paramilitary leader.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.