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13.09.06
Council of Europe Secretary General calls for talks instead of ôreferendumö in the Georgian region of South Ossetia

ôThe secessionist authorities of the South Ossetian region of Georgia are wasting time and effort on the organisation of a ôreferendum on independenceö in Novemberö said Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe.  ôI do not think that anyone will recognise the result of such a referendum.  If the people in power in South Ossetia are genuinely committed to the interest of the people they claim to represent, they should engage in meaningful negotiations with the Georgian government in order to find a peaceful, internationally accepted outcome.  I regret the continuous loss of lives on both sides and call for an immediate start of dialogue to end the conflict which continues to cause distress to the people living in South Ossetia as well as undermining the territorial integrity of Georgia and stability in the regionö.

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A political organisation set up in 1949, the Council of Europe works to promote democracy and human rights continent-wide. It also develops common responses to social, cultural and legal challenges in its 44 member states.
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