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U.S. Lawmakers Tour Georgia

Georgian President Saakashvili (left) with Senator McCain in Mtskheta on August 27 (InterPressNews) TBILISI, August 28, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- A delegation of U.S. lawmakers is touring Georgia with President Mikheil Saakashvili, RFE/RL's Georgian Service reported.

The delegation, led by U.S. Senator John McCain (Republican, Arizona), traveled on August 27 to the separatist region of South Ossetia to meet with leader Eduard Kokoity.

McCain told journalists the delegation intends to study the situation in Georgia's separatist regions.

McCain's trip follows an August 22-24 visit to Georgia by U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (Republican, Indiana), the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Lugar said the U.S. government backs Georgian calls for Russian peacekeepers to withdraw from South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The Senate delegation also visited the mountain region of Svaneti and Batumi, the capital of the Adjara autonomous republic, before moving on to Kutaisi, Georgia's second-largest city.

(with material from

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