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Talks over OSCE Georgia mandate suspended

VIENNA, May 14 (UPI) -- The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Permanent Council on Thursday suspended negotiations on a renewal of the OSCE mandate in Georgia.

Greek Ambassador Mara Marinaki, chairwoman of the council, announced the suspended talks Thursday following five months without progress toward reaching a consensus over an OSCE presence in Georgia, the OSCE reported.

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The OSCE has been at a stalemate over a permanent mandate renewal since the original mandate expired at the end of 2008.

The current Greek leadership of the OSCE has been pushing for a renewal of the mandate in order to promote future stability in Georgia following the country's August military conflict with Russia over the South Ossetia and Abkhazia separatist regions.

According to an OSCE news release, Marinaki said the negotiations would be suspended "until further notice."

"Following five months of intensive informal negotiations, it is now time to take stock of what has been accomplished," Marinaki said in a statement.

"We need to review the results of our efforts to build the required consensus around the Greek proposal based on the status-neutral formula that would allow the OSCE to continue its crucial work in Georgia."

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