Germany's Merkel to travel to Georgia on Sunday

09:43, 15 August 2008
World
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For talks aimed at forging a lasting peace

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Georgia on Sunday for talks with President Mikheil Saakashvili aimed at forging a lasting peace between Tbilisi and Moscow, a German official said.

The trip will take place two days after Merkel meets Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Sochi on the Russian Black Sea coast to try to resolve the conflict over the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia.

Germany has said it is keen to support a fragile ceasefire that was brokered by France, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in France on Thursday for talks with President Nicolas Sarkozy and will then travel to Georgia, a U.S. ally.

The United States has sharply condemned Russia`s violent push into Georgia, but both Germany and France have steered clear of blaming Moscow for the bloody clashes and suggested both sides hold responsibility.

Reuters

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