Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. Secretary of State, reiterated Washington’s concern over Russia’s recent moves towards Georgia’s breakaway regions, before the meeting with her Georgian counterpart, Davit Bakradze on April 23.
“I will assure the Foreign Minister [Bakradze], as I did President Saakashvili a couple of days ago, that the United States is firmly committed to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia, that we support Georgia’s efforts to make certain that the people of Abkhazia and South Ossetia feel fully a part of Georgia, and that we are very concerned at the recent move by the Russian Federation, the presidential decree that was issued,” Rice said.
“I’ve had an opportunity to raise these issues with Foreign Minister Lavrov by phone. And then just on the margins of the Iraq neighbors meeting that just took place in Kuwait, I also raised them. Again, our commitment to Georgia and to its territorial integrity is firm. These are issues that should be worked out, state to state, between Georgia and Russia. And there should be no question as to Georgia’s integrity and Georgia’s full incorporation into the international community. And I might note that the United States also feels strongly that Georgia’s future is a transatlantic future.”
Davit Bakradze said in his remarks just before the meeting that it was challenging time for Georgia and “the primary issue is how to handle those challenges which we faced recently in terms of conflict resolution and challenges to territorial integrity of Georgia.”
“And of course, we want to consult our American friends and we want to plan joint actions how to improve chances for peaceful resolution of the conflict, how to implement the peace plan, and including those recent proposals initiated by Government of Georgian President Saakashvili,” Bakradze said. “And we are all interested in promoting peaceful resolution of the conflicts based on the territorial integrity of Georgia. We are very grateful for such a clear and unconditional support of Georgia’s territorial integrity. And I do hope and I do believe that with such a clear support, we will be able to overcome challenges, including challenges created by recent unilateral Russian steps which we see as potentially very dangerous and provocative.”
Georgia’s UN envoy, Irakli Alasania, said that Davit Bakradze would to address a session of the UN Security Council on April 23 convened upon the Georgia’s request to discuss Russia’s recent moves towards Abkhazia, including the incident involving downing of Georgia’s unmanned reconnaissance drone.