STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT George BUSH
I'm deeply concerned about the situation in Georgia. The United States takes this matter very seriously.
The attacks are occurring in regions of Georgia far from the zone of conflict in South Ossetia. They mark a dangerous escalation in the crisis. The violence is endangering regional peace. Civilian lives have been lost, and others are endangered.
This situation can be resolved peacefully. We've been in contact with leaders in both Georgia and Russia at all levels of government. Georgia is a sovereign nation and its territorial integrity must be respected. We have urged an immediate halt to the violence and a stand-down by all troops. We call for an end to the Russian bombings, and a return by the parties to the status quo of August the 6th.
The United States is working with our European partners to launch international mediation, and with the parties to restart their dialogue. Russia needs to support these efforts so that peace can be restored as quickly as possible.
Laura and I were also saddened by the attack on an American family and their Chinese tour guide today in Beijing. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. And the United States government has offered to provide any assistance the family needs.
Thank you very much.
Statement by Secretary of State CONDOLEEZZA RICE
Russia Move into Georgia
The United States calls for an immediate ceasefire to the armed conflict in Georgia’s region of South Ossetia. We call on Russia to cease attacks on Georgia by aircraft and missiles, respect Georgia’s territorial integrity, and withdraw its ground combat forces from Georgian soil.
Senior U.S. officials and I have spoken with the parties and continue to work with them to seek an end to hostilities. The United States is working actively with its European partners to launch international mediation. We urgently seek Russia’s support of these efforts.
We underscore the international community’s support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, as articulated in numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions, including most recently UNSCR 1808 in April 2008.
Remarks by Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad
U.S. Permanent Representative, on the situation in Georgia, at the Security Council Stakeout, August 8, 2008
You have seen the discussion, the debate, that we had for the second time today on the situation in Georgia. Let me make clear where the United States stands with regards to this issue.
• First we call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to hostilities by all sides.
• We call for talks between the Georgians and Ossetians.
• Point three; we deplore the Russian military action in Georgia which is a violation of Georgian sovereignty and territorial integrity.
• And four, we call on Russian forces to stop attacks whether by aircraft, missiles or ground combat forces.
We will work inside the Council, with others, to come to an agreement that will reflect these principles. I know that there’s been a lot of suffering that has taken place in Georgia.
It’s important that all parties agree to an immediate ceasefire as soon as possible. There are important and difficult negotiations that have to take place, but the first thing that is needed is an end to use of force and an end to violence, and the use of violence by all concerned.
Thank you very much.