Georgia Signs Cease-Fire as Rice Looks On
After spending several hours in a diplomatic huddle behind closed doors with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on Friday signed a cease-fire agreement brokered by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Saakashvili, however, made it clear during a follow-up news conference that “this is not a done deal yet.”
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The office of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who brokered the agreement, said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev also had confirmed Russia’s cooperation.
“His country will sign a cease-fire accord with Georgia and scrupulously respect all agreements, including a troop withdrawal,” Sarkozy’s office said.
Fighting that started last week has died down in the region, but Russian forces remain. The warfare raged for several days until Sarkozy’s diplomatic efforts helped lessen the violence. Sarkozy undertook the role because he holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the priority now was “all Russian troops and irregulars that entered Georgia with them must leave immediately.”
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