Georgia donors' conference set for October 21 in Belgium

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A conference dedicated to the rebuilding of Georgia's civilian infrastructure set to open in Brussels in October.

26 September 2008

BRUSSELS -- A donors' conference dedicated to rebuilding Georgia's civilian infrastructure after August's war with Russia is set to open in Brussels on October 21 or 22, Belgian officials confirmed Thursday.

The one-day conference, which was proposed by European Union heads of state and government at an emergency summit on September 1, is intended to gather aid pledges from the international community, Belgian Foreign Ministry officials told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

The announcement of the conference comes 10 days after the European Commission, the EU's executive, pledged a package of 500 million EUR (733.7 million USD) in aid for the post-war reconstruction and economic recovery of Georgia.

Belgian Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht proposed the dates of October 21-22 at a meeting of the United Nations in New York late on Wednesday. Officials say that the exact date has not been finalized.

EU officials stress that all aid to Georgia is meant for civilian reconstruction only and will not be diverted to the Georgian army.

Belgian officials also emphasized that the aid is intended for the Georgian people, not its government.

EU member states are deeply divided over the question of who was responsible for starting the August war, with some countries fiercely criticizing the regime of President Mikheil Saakashvili.

[dpa / Expatica]





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