Georgian foreign minister calls for European unity against Russia

Georgia Materials 31 August 2008 19:06 (UTC +04:00)

Georgian Foreign Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili on Sunday called for the European Union to take a united stand against what she described as the Russian occupation of parts of her countryc the dpa reported.

"A common and unified effort by all of us, a European effort, of which Turkey is an intrinsic part of this, will be essential (to solve the problem in Georgia)," Tkeshelashvili said.

Speaking in Istanbul after meeting her Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan, Tkeshelashvili made it clear she expected Europe to act when EU leaders meet in Brussels on Monday to discuss the union's response to Russia's military actions in Georgia and its subsequent decision to recognise as independent states South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

"Europe, if contained to the boundaries as they exist now, cannot ever be secure and prosperous anymore with the expanded and expansive polices of the Russian Federation... The domino effect that can can take place if Russia is successful in Georgia can already be seen now, beginning with Ukraine, and we know that the follow-up will not be restricted to that," Tkeshelashvili said.

Babacan said that Turkey was working through international platforms to try and reach a solution and that Turkey would continue to work in cooperation with its neighbour Georgia.

Babacan said he would hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday but emphasised that Turkey does not support any redrawing of the map of Georgia.

"I make it very clear Turkey totally supports Georgia's territorial integrity," Babacan said.