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Georgia’s newly-elected President Georgy Margvelashvili has made it clear that deepening the former Soviet Republic’s ties with Europe are a key priority.

“Europe is our choice and this election is a confirmation of our European course,” Margvelashvili told reporters in Tbilisi, a day after his landslide election victory.

The President-elect also stressed that improving Georgia’s “difficult” relationship with Russia was important, saying: “We’ll try to reduce tension and to solve all the painful issues in the format that our international partners have suggested. ‘Let’s move these issues to European forums’, they’ve told us.”

Tensions between Georgia and Russia flared into an armed conflict over territory in August 2008.

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