Bush tells Russia to honor cease-fire with Georgia

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. is calling on Russia to honor the current cease-fire in Georgia.

In a Rose Garden statement, President Bush says the U.S. expects all Russian forces to withdraw from the former Soviet republic. He says the U.S. is deeply concerned about whether Russia is violating the French-brokered truce.

The president says Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be traveling to Paris to discuss the matter. She'll then head to Georgia to express solidarity with the democratically elected government there.

Bush also said that Russia needs to allow the U.S. and other countries to deliver humanitarian aid to besieged parts of Georgia.

The president spent the morning meeting with his national security team, and speaking on the phone with the French president as well as Georgia's embattled leader.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


OUTSIDE GORI, Georgia (AP) -- The eyes of the world remain focused on the small former Soviet republic of Georgia.

At this point, the status of a French-brokered cease-fire between Georgia and Russia is unclear.

Russian troops and paramilitaries have been pushing deeper into Georgia today, rolling into the strategic city of Gori, which sits on Georgia's only significant east-west road.

The troop movement violates the truce designed to end the six-day war that has uprooted 100,000 people and scarred the Georgian landscape.

Georgian officials say Gori was looted and bombed by the Russians, who deny the claim. An Associated Press reporter later saw dozens of tanks and military vehicles leaving the city, roaring southeast. The convoy later turned north, left the highway about a hour's drive from the Georgian capital and started setting up camp.

To the west, Abkahzian separatist forces backed by Russian military might have pushed out Georgian troops and even moved into Georgian territory, defiantly planting a flag.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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