Russia should not fuel tensions in Georgia, says Rice

July 10th, 2008 - 10:04 pm ICT by IANS  

RIA Novosti
Tbilisi (Georgia), July 10 (RIA Novosti) US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Thursday said Russia should help Georgia resolve conflicts with its breakaway regions rather than exacerbate them. “It (Russia) needs to be a part of resolving the problem and solving the problem and not contributing to it,” Rice told reporters in the Georgian capital.

Rice is visiting Georgia amid rising tensions between the ex-Soviet Caucasus country and its breakaway regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The provinces have been a point of contention between Georgia and Russia. Moscow has provided aid to the regions and recently sent additional peacekeepers into Abkhazia saying they are needed to deter new bloodshed.

It accused Tbilisi of escalating the conflict. Georgia has charged Moscow with trying to annex its territory.

Rice urged for a peaceful solution to the disputes. “It is very important that all parties reject violence as an option. There must be a peaceful solution,” she said.

Four people were killed in a cafe explosion in Abkhazia Sunday and two died in a clash between Georgian and South Ossetian troops last week.

Rice said she would be seeking high-level talks to try and reach a solution to the long-running conflicts in Georgia.

The US top diplomat also expressed support for Georgia’s NATO bid, saying the country would hopefully be admitted in a Membership Action Plan in December, paving the way to full membership of the alliance.
RIA Novosti

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