US to deliver humanitarian aid to Georgia

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

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The above file photo (2004) shows a sniper taking aim at Ossetian rebels in South Ossetia to allow the Georgian Army forces to move forward Photograph: Jonathan Alpeyrie
Bush making the announcement earlier today
Image: Joyce N. Boghosian.

George W. Bush, the President of the United States, has announced that his country will "begin a humanitarian mission to the people of Georgia, headed by the United States military."

Speaking at 11:10 EDT (15:10 UTC) today, Bush also said that "the United States of America stands with the democratically elected government of Georgia. We insist that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia be respected."

According to Bush, the planned aid mission will be "vigorous and ongoing."

Bush went on to describe the methods used in the delivery of the aid. "A U.S. C-17 aircraft with humanitarian supplies is on its way. And in the days ahead we will use U.S. aircraft, as well as naval forces, to deliver humanitarian and medical supplies."

In the final parts of the speech, Bush focused on the responsibilities that he claims Russia has committed to. "We expect Russia to honor its commitment to let in all forms of humanitarian assistance. We expect Russia to ensure that all lines of communication and transport, including seaports, airports, roads, and airspace, remain open for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and for civilian transit," he said, continuing on the focus on the provisions of aid.

The crisis in Georgia started when, on August 7, following days of fire exchange with South Ossetian separatist units, Georgia launched an offensive against Tskhinvali, the capital of the region. The next day Russian forces entered Georgia and began to bomb targets in the country.