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OSCE officials asked to consider extension

VIENNA, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The European Union Wednesday called on leaders to take a serious look at extending the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's mission in Georgia.

Ambassador Hansjoerg Haber, head of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia, addressed OSCE representatives Wednesday at a joint Permanent Council Forum for Security Cooperation, the OSCE reported.

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Haber called the OSCE's presence in Georgia an important complement to the EU mission in the country in an ongoing effort to achieve stability following the August conflict between Russia and Georgia over the South Ossetia and Abkhazia breakaway regions.

Russia, an OSCE member, has objected to extending the OSCE mandate in Georgia. Haber Wednesday called on OSCE leaders to make a serious evaluation over the future of the OSCE in Georgia.

"This is the right moment to look seriously into the issue of continuing the OSCE presence on the ground," Haber said in a statement.

"There should be some systematic thinking about the comparative advantages our institutions can offer."

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