European Leaders Meet On Georgia-Russia Conflict

European foreign ministers open two days of talks Friday in southern France to discuss sending civilian monitors to Georgia. The aim is to convince Russia to remove its troops.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

European foreign ministers are meeting today. Their goal is to convince Russia to remove its troops from Georgia, a former Soviet republic. Russia invaded Georgia nearly a month ago on a battle over the breakaway territory called South Ossetia. Both South Ossetia and another territory, Abkhazia, are pro-Moscow. Many of their citizens have Russian passports, and protecting those Russians is a reason that Moscow has given for sending in those troops.

Some of those troops remain, even after a cease-fire, and that's where the Europeans come in with a plan. They want to send in civilian monitors. The European Union says several hundred civilians in Georgia could keep an eye on how people are treated and that would take away Russia's official justification for leaving its troops in place.

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