Heads of state and government from 27 European Union (EU) countries welcomed on Thursday the withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia under an EU-brokered ceasefire agreement with Georgia.
"The European Council welcomes the withdrawal of Russian troops which followed the agreements of 12 August and 8 September as well as the launching in Geneva of the international discussions provided for by those agreements," said a draft conclusion of the summit obtained by Xinhua.
The two-day summit "is asking the Commission and the Council to continue a full in-depth evaluation of EU-Russia relations with a view to the forthcoming summit on Nov. 14 in Nice, France, it said.
It will be taken into account in the further negotiations for a new Partnership Agreement with Russia.
Russia completed its pullout on Oct. 8 of troops stationed in the "buffer zones" adjacent to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two breakaway regions of Georgia.
Under the ceasefire agreement, Russian military forces withdrew from these zones before the Oct. 10 deadline, otherwise, negotiations on a new EU-Russia cooperation and partnership agreement could not be resumed.
The EU suspended the talks after a Georgia-Russia conflict in the summer.
The draft conclusion said that EU "is resolved, in particular through its neighborhood policy, to supporting its eastern neighbors in their efforts to achieve economic modernization and democratization."
The document stressed the importance of the outcome of the EU-Ukraine Summit in Paris, calling for relations between the EU and the Republic of Moldova and Georgia to be strengthened.
The summit asked the European Council to conduct an initial examination of the proposals for a future "Eastern Partnership" of the EU.
The Commission, the executive arm of the EU, would submit the proposals in November, said the document.
(Xinhua News Agency October 16, 2008)