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U.S. Embassy: Jet Crossed Border from Russia
/ 17 Aug.'07 / 16:16
Civil Georgia

The U.S. embassy in Tbilisi, in a statement, has corroborated Tbilisi's version of events surrounding the August 6 missile incident.

The statement issued on August 17 describes the incident as an "incursion into Georgian airspace of a military aircraft from Russian airspace."

The comments come as part of the U.S. embassy's evaluation of a report by the International Experts Group. The embassy categorized the report as both “important” and “credible.”

The IEG was made up of eight experts from Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and the United States. The latter provided two technical experts from the U.S. European Command.

“The United States urges the international community to pay careful attention to this report,” the statement reads. “We welcome the open and transparent cooperation of the Georgian Government with the IEG evaluation, including responding to the IEG's requests for access to available evidence and facilities to confirm the evidence.”

The statement comes ahead of a press conference by a group of Russian experts, scheduled for later today, in which the group's findings are due to be unveiled. Initial remarks made by members of the Russian delegation indicate that further denials of Moscow’s involvement in the August 6 incident are to be expected.

In the statement, the U.S. embassy has also called on the international community to support “confidence-building measures in South Ossetia to reduce military tension, including international monitoring of the Roki Tunnel and increased OSCE military observers throughout all of South Ossetia.”

“We also call on all concerned parties to invigorate efforts to reach a peaceful political solution to the conflict based on an autonomous South Ossetia within a unified Georgia,” the statement reads. “The United States reasserts its full support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.”

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