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WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2008 – President Bush today pledged that the United States will support the former Soviet republic of Georgia in its time of need, as Russian troops still occupy parts of the country. “The United States and our allies stand with the people of Georgia and their democratically elected government,” Bush said at the White House. “Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected. Moscow must honor its commitment to withdraw its invading forces from all Georgian territory.”

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is now conferring with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili in Tbilisi, the country’s capital city, Bush said. Rice is in Georgia to express “America’s wholehearted support for Georgia’s democracy,” Bush said.

Bush said Rice will later travel to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, to update him on the situation in Georgia. Bush also said Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is keeping him briefed on the ongoing humanitarian mission in Georgia.

Further coverage to follow.

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