Italian PM says to make diplomatic efforts to solve Georgia issue 2008-09-10 12:10:06   Print

    ROME, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Tuesday that his government would continue to make diplomatic efforts to solve a recent crisis between Russia and Georgia.

    During a joint press conference with visiting U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, Berlusconi said he had worked "to prevent what happened in Georgia and South Ossetia from becoming, rather than an isolated incident, a detonator that could push history back years to the Cold War."

    Georgia rolled in troops to retake its breakaway region of South Ossetia early August, triggering a Russian military surge that drove out the Georgian forces.

    Russia recognized South Ossetia and Georgia's another breakaway region of Abkhazia as independent states on Aug. 26.

    After talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy Monday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to withdraw all Russian forces from Georgia except South Ossetia and Abkhazia within a month.

    Berlusconi said it is inevitable that Russia and NATO strengthen cooperation, adding the international community should make joint efforts in tackling crises in the world and fighting terrorism.

    Cheney strongly condemned Russia's latest military operations in Georgia, saying Georgia and Ukraine have every right to develop their ties with Western countries including their joining into NATO.

    He spoke highly of Italy's role of sending troops to Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Kosovo to keep peace and stability there.

    Cheney kicked off a visit to Italy Saturday after a tour to Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Georgia, three ex-Soviet republics.

Editor: Jiang Yuxia
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