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Russia and Georgia hold Geneva talks

Russia and Georgia held talks in Geneva aimed at resolving tensions over breakaway regions that led to a five-day war in August.

The talks ended after three hours and with an agreement to meet again in December.

A first set of talks, brokered by the European Union and other international bodies, failed to get started last month because of disagreements about whether representatives from South Ossetia and Abkhazia should take part, and how.

Abkhazia's Deputy Foreign Minister Maxim Gvindzhiya said it had been agreed that his delegation and South Ossetia would participate on an informal basis this time, to avoid failure a second time round.

The other participants were Russia, Georgia, the United Nations, the United States and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Two working groups focused on the plight of refugees and ensuring compliance with an EU-brokered ceasefire, Gvindzhiya said.

The UN refugee agency estimates that more than 30,000 people are still unable to return to their homes because of insecurity.


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