For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 1, 2008
Statement by Press Secretary on EU Decision Regarding Georgia
We welcome the European Union's decisions on Georgia today. This extraordinary EU summit demonstrates that Europe and the United States are united in standing firm behind Georgia's territorial integrity, sovereignty and reconstruction.
We applaud the EU's commitment to send an EU mission to Georgia, and encourage EU member states to deploy monitors as quickly as possible; we welcome the appointment of an EU Special Representative for the crisis and look forward to working closely with this envoy.
We will work with the EU to assist Georgia with its reconstruction, and will participate in the international conference on Georgia's reconstruction.
We join the EU in condemning Russia's decision to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and in calling on other states not to recognize these Georgian separatist regions. We also agree with the EU's conclusion that Russia has a choice to make in order not to isolate itself from Europe.
We agree with the EU that the six-point ceasefire agreement must be fully implemented, and echo the EU's call for military forces to withdraw to the lines held prior to the outbreak of hostilities. We welcome the upcoming visit of French President (and EU Council President) Sarkozy, EU Commission President Barroso and EU High Representative Solana to Moscow to ensure "full and scrupulous" Russian compliance with the agreement.
We agree with the EU on the importance of finalizing the international monitoring mechanism called for in point 5 of the agreement and thereby replace the Russian "additional security measures" in the area adjacent to South Ossetia. We also echo the EU's call for international talks as a matter of urgency on the security and stability arrangements in Abkhazia and South Ossetia as called for in point 6.
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