Georgia signs cease-fire; US voices support

UPDATED 8/15/08 1:11 p.m.: TBLISI, Georgia (AP) -- Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili says he has signed a cease-fire agreement with Russia. But he did not appear enthusiastic about it. He says it protects the former Soviet republic's interests despite concessions to Moscow.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stood beside the pro-American Georgian leader as he made the announcement. Rice says she's been assured that Russia's president will sign an identical document.

After five hours of meetings with Saakashvili, Rice says the world must help ensure that Georgia's independence and borders remain intact.

Despite the agreement, an emotional Saakashvili said he will "never, ever surrender" in the showdown with Russia. He accuses the West of inviting Russian aggression by denying Georgia a door to NATO membership.

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

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REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA -- In a news conference in Georgia, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, “Russian troops must leave Georgia at once. This is no longer 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia.”

The Associated Press reports that Secretary Rice says the Russian president will sign a cease-fire pact.


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