The European Union (EU) favors an international investigation into the conflict between Georgia and Russia last month, said French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner at the end of an EU foreign ministers' meeting Saturday.
"We all stressed that there is a need for an international investigation as to how the crisis developed in Georgia," said Kouchner, who chaired the two-day meeting in this Gothic city in southern France.
"That investigation needs to be launched as soon as possible," he said.
However, Kouchner failed to give details of the modality of such an investigation. He indicated that it could involve international bodies, non-governmental organizations or the United Nations.
He noted that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said he would immediately send a fact-finding mission to South Ossetia.
Georgia launched a sudden attack in South Ossetia on Aug. 7 in an attempt to regain control of the breakaway region. Tbilisi's move triggered prompt reaction from Russia, whose troops drove Georgian forces out of the region.
Since the start of the conflict, Tbilisi and Moscow have been accusing each other of ethnic cleansing.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who brokered a six-point peace plan, travels to Moscow and Tbilisi Monday in an attempt to secure a complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia proper.
The six-point peace plan provides for withdrawal of Georgian and Russian troops to pre-conflict positions.
The West is accusing Russia of failing to honor its commitments by establishing security zones on the border of South Ossetia and another breakaway region of Abkhazia.
The West also condemned Russia for its recognition of the two regions as independent states.