Secretary of State: U.S urges Russia to fulfil agreement on Georgia
Georgia, Tbilisi, June 5 / Trend N. Kirtzkhalia /
The US once again urges Russia to fully implement the ceasefire agreement of 2008, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at the opening of the Georgian-American Commission on Strategic Cooperation in Batumi.
"We demand the fulfilment of all points of the agreement which sees the withdrawal of Russian armed forces from the occupied territories," she said.
Clinton expressed support for Georgia's territorial integrity. "Washington recognises Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty," she said.
Military action was launched in the Georgian territory of South Ossetia on Aug.8 in 2008. Later Russian troops occupied the city of Tskhinvali and drove the Georgian military back. Russia recognised the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in late August. In response, Tbilisi broke off diplomatic relations with Moscow and announced two unrecognised republics as the occupied territories.
Clinton also touched on the upcoming fall elections in the Georgian parliament. "It is a good opportunity to consolidate democratic reforms in the country," she said.
"Georgia has made successful and important steps to strengthen democracy in the country after the 'Rose Revolution'," she said. "These achievements are widely accepted. It is necessary to confirm the commitment to democracy and legitimisation of power through fair, transparent and fair elections which must be competitive."
In this regard, Clinton stressed the establishment of the interdepartmental commission on elections in Georgia. She stressed that it was a "good step" in the right direction. She urged the Georgian Parliament to create more favourable conditions for women to participate in the elections. "Including women in politics can bring new dividends to your country as their role in the development of democracy is significant," she said.
U.S. Secretary of State also stressed that one should not limit by holding fair elections to develop the democracy. "You should move towards democracy, improve the judicial system, resolve the issues of the right to free labour and freedom of the press," she said. "All these reforms will lead to the freedom of citizens and economic development."
She stressed that the successful reforms in Georgia have been recognised by the world.
"The U.S. is proud of the fact that they are Georgia's partners," she said. "We want to bring our economic cooperation to a new level. The matter rests in the introduction of free trade. The presidents of the two countries spoke about this in Washington earlier this year. A meeting of economic groups, which determine the way of strategic cooperation between the two countries, was held last week."