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Georgia: No Link Between Russian Pullout And WTO Vote

Georgia's Vice President Nika Gilauri has said Tbilisi's demand for Russian forces to end their occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is not tied to how Georgia will vote on Moscow's application to join the World Trade Organization.

In remarks at Washington, D.C.'s Atlantic Council, Gilauri said Georgia will continue to press for Russian troops to end their occupation of Georgian territory, but that it "has nothing to do" with the WTO vote.

He said Georgia will support Moscow's bid if it makes customs checkpoints in the two breakaway regions transparent, as required under WTO rules.

Gilauri is in Washington this week with a delegation of senior Georgian officials for a meeting of the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission.

He met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on October 6.
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