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The Week in Brief

Friday, August 8
Continuing violence has pushed the breakaway region of South Ossetia to the verge of all-out war. Urgent diplomatic efforts are underway to halt the violence.

A proposal making its way through the Council of the European Union would expand the role of the EU in Abkhazia conflict resolution. Any heightened international involvement in the separatist conflict is a victory for Georgia, which says it needs the help in ousting Russia’s peacekeepers from the region, where Tbilisi views them as occupiers.

The million barrel a day Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan oil pipeline shut down after a fire on a section in eastern Turkey. Kurdish rebels claimed responsibility; an investigation into the cause is ongoing.

Legislative elections in the nominally autonomous Adjara province and two by-elections in Tbilisi are slated for October 4. Most opposition parties, squelched in elections this spring, plan to boycott one or both of the polls.

Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Theodore II came for a visit bearing holy relics and blessings. For the Georgian devout, his arrival was on par with a visit from a foreign president of stature.