Bush ‘deeply concerned’ about Georgia-Russia conflict

August 9th, 2008 - 11:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing/Washington, Aug 9 (DPA) US President George W. Bush Saturday expressed deep “concern” over the fighting between Georgian and Russian troops in South Ossetia. “The attacks are occurring in regions of Georgia far from the zone of conflict in South Ossetia. They mark a dangerous escalation in the crisis,” Bush said, speaking in the Chinese capital Beijing where he attended the Olympic opening ceremonies Friday.

Bush called on the two sides to resolve the regional issue peacefully, adding that Georgia was a sovereign nation whose territorial integrity needed to be respected.

He specifically called on Russia to stop bombings and for a “return by the parties to the status quo of Aug 6″.

The US leader also said his country would be working with partners in Europe to mediate a solution to the conflict.

Meanwhile US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte summoned the charge d’affaires at Russia’s embassy in Washington, Aleksander Darchiyev, to the State Department to discuss the crisis.

At the meeting, Negroponte called for a cessation of military action and expressed US condemnation of Russian bombing and rocket attacks which endangered civilians.

On Friday, the US announced that it was sending an envoy to help bring about a ceasefire in the conflict in Georgia’s breakaway South Ossetia region.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had also been in contact with a number of foreign officials to seek an end to the hostilities.

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