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U.S. Commends C.I.S. Summit Initiatives On Abkhazia

Washington, Jan. 24 (RFE/RL) - The United States says efforts by former Soviet republics to encourage a peaceful settlement in Georgia's conflict with Abkhaz separatists is a welcome initiative.

State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns told reporters today that the U.S. supports the efforts agreed upon by the leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States at their summit in Moscow a week ago.

Burns also reiterated the "very strong support" of the U.S. "for the independence, the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Republic of Georgia."

Initiatives decided in Moscow included an embargo on trade in military equipment, a commitment to coordinate with Georgia on all trade to the region and a three-month extension of a Russian peacekeeping force on the border between Georgia and the breakaway Abkhaz region.

The U.S. also welcomed the decision by the United Nations Security Council to keep observers in Georgia.