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Sarkozy urges rapid Russian withdrawal from Georgia
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French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday urged Russia to withdraw "without delay" all its military forces that entered Georgia since Aug. 7, the presidential office said in a statement.

"There will be serious consequences" if Russia does not honor its cease-fire agreement with Georgia, the French president told his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in a phone conversation.

Medvedev, who signed the French-brokered peace agreement on Saturday, said that Russia will start pulling out its forces on Monday.

Later in the day, French daily Le Figaro cited Sarkozy as saying that the Council of the European Union will meet to discuss "what consequences to draw" for Russia if it fails to follow the pullout specified in the cease-fire agreement.

(Xinhua News Agency August 18, 2008)

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