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Georgia lifts state of war
Updated: 2008-09-03 23:53

TBILISI - Georgia's parliament voted Wednesday to lift the state of war in the country and declared a state of emergency in what Tbilisi calls "territory occupied by Russian troops."

The state of war was imposed on August 9, shortly after Georgia's military offensive to retake South Ossetia, a breakaway region of Georgia, which triggered a counter-offensive by Russia. The conflict ended with a ceasefire agreement brokered by France.

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Parliament Speaker David Bakradze said the state of war needed to be lifted for the sake of development of the country as it had posed many difficulties to economic activities in Georgia, the Caucasus Press news agency reported.

The state of emergency applies to South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another breakaway region of Georgia, as well as places where Russian troops maintain checkpoints, Caucasus Press said.

Russia says its troops remaining in Georgia are serving on a peacekeeping mission agreed in the ceasefire deal. Tbilisi calls the Russian troops in Georgia "occupying forces."

The parliamentary move followed Georgia's diplomatic break with Russia on Tuesday.

Russia closed its embassy in Tbilisi and halted consular operations in Georgia on Wednesday, after Tbilisi severed diplomatic ties with Moscow to protest Russia's recognition late last month of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.