NATO diplomats to visit Georgia despite Russian objection

September 12th, 2008 - 7:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Riga, Sep 12 (DPA) Diplomats from NATO countries will visit Georgia next week despite Russian objections to the show of support for the country’s pro-Western government, the alliance’s top official said Friday.The North Atlantic Council, which groups ambassadors from all 26 NATO members, plans a two-day trip starting Monday that includes a stop in Gori, a strategic town shelled by Russian forces during last month’s fighting between the two countries.

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said the diplomats would meet with President Mikheil Saakashvili’s government, the opposition and non-governmental groups.

“We’ll pay a visit to Gori to show support for Georgia after what we’ve seen from the Russian side,” Scheffer told reporters in Riga, the capital of Latvia, during a visit to the Baltic nation.

Russia this week urged the council to put off its trip, which NATO officials say has been planned for some time.

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