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U.S. Welcomes Georgian Plan To Improve Living Conditions In Breakaway Regions

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced what he called a "peace initiative."
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced what he called a "peace initiative."

The United States says it welcomes a package of proposals put forward this week by Georgia's government aimed at improving the lives of people living in Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili on April 4 announced what he called a "peace initiative" to expand trade, travel, and educational opportunities across the dividing line for people residing within the breakaway regions.

In a statement issued late on April 4, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert commended the measures, which she said would "help address the needs of the most vulnerable populations on both sides of the administrative boundary lines and provide increased opportunities for mobility, improved livelihoods, and access to education."

The two Georgia breakaway regions declared independence from Tbilisi in 2008 following a five-day war between Georgia and Russia.

While Moscow has recognized their independence and maintains a military presence in both regions, the United States and almost all other countries in the world consider the regions still to be part of Georgia.

Russia recently conducted military exercises in the regions and around its southern borders with Georgia.

Nauert said the United States continued to give its "full support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders."

She added that Washington also "welcomes Georgia's commitment to dialogue and to a peaceful resolution of the conflict."

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