Germany Seeks EU Conference

BERLIN -- Germany said Monday that it would push for a European Union conference with Georgia's neighbors to help bring stability to the region.

The proposal for the conference, which Germany said carried the working title "Reconstruction and Stability in Georgia and the Region," comes in the midst of a debate on how Europe should deal with Russia and its neighbors over the Georgia crisis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after a meeting with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on Sunday that the EU should intensify its contacts with Georgia, Turkmenistan, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

"She particularly mentioned countries which haven't been directly included in the [EU] neighborhood policy so far," German government spokesman Thomas Steg said.

Germany will propose the idea of the joint conference to France, which currently holds the EU presidency, Steg said.