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Georgia, Russia to hold first bilateral talks since war

TBILISI - Russia and Georgia will hold the first bilateral talks since their 2008 war this week marking an improvement in ties after bitter Russia foe President Mikheil Saakashvili's party lost control of parliament in October elections.
Diplomats from Moscow and Tbilisi will meet in Switzerland this week for an "informal meeting mediated by the Swiss", Zurab Abashidze, a new Georgian envoy tapped by the recently-elected government to head ties with Moscow, told reporters.Relations between the two former Soviet states remain fraught four years after Russia crushed a Georgian assault on the breakaway region of South Ossetia. Each blames the other for starting the conflict.
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