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Military observers return from Georgia

Four Swiss military observers have come back from a United Nations mission to Georgia after an international mandate ran out in mid-June.

This content was published on July 13, 2009 - 13:48

Russia had blocked a continuation of the UN contingent in the breakaway republic of Abkhazia amid territorial disputes between Moscow and Georgia that flared up last year.

The four Swiss observers were part of a 151-strong mission from 30 countries monitoring a ceasefire between Georgia and Abkhazia agreed in 1993.

Neutral Switzerland has taken part in peace missions around the world since 1953.

More than 250 members of the armed forces and military experts are currently deployed in about a dozen countries, notably in Kosovo.

Switzerland represents Russia's interest in Georgia after ties between the former Soviet bloc countries were severed over the conflict in the breakaway region of South Ossetia last August. In January Georgia also agreed to a Swiss mandate in Moscow.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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