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Sarkozy Defends Georgia's Borders During Visit


Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili (left) and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy on Freedom Square in Tbilisi.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili (left) and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy on Freedom Square in Tbilisi.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has reaffirmed France's commitment to Georgia's territorial integrity after the Caucasus nation's brief war with Russia in 2008.

Sarkozy, who brokered the peace deal to end the five-day war, made his remarks on October 7 in Georgia, the latest stop on a regional tour.

"France sees Russia as its friend and a strategic partner," the AFP news agency reported Sarkozy as saying in a speech addressed to thousands of Georgians on Tbilisi's Freedom Square. "But to restore confidence, threats, intimidation, and attempts to destabilize are fully unacceptable."

Sarkozy also called on Russia to respect its commitments under the ceasefire agreement.

Tbilisi accuses Moscow of violating the agreement by not withdrawing its troops to pre-war positions and keeping them in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Russia now recognizes as independent states.

compiled from agency reports

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