4 August 2004 -- Georgian Parliament speaker Nino Burjanadze today said talks President Mikheil Saakashvili will have this week in the United States will focus on the situation in the breakaway republic of South Ossetia.
Burjanadze made these comments shortly after the Georgian president departed for the United States on an unofficial visit.
Saakashvili is due to meet with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and national security advisor Condoleezza Rice in Washington, before proceeding to Atlanta.
The United States is Georgia's main military partner and has expressed repeated concerns over developments in South Ossetia.
Saakashvili has vowed to reassert peacefully control over the province which seceded in the early 1990s. But a series of incidents involving skirmishes, the seizure of Russian convoys, and the capture of Georgian peacekeepers have heightened tension in the