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    US STATE SECRETARY: GEORGIA MUST BECOME US-RUSSIAN COOPERATION AREA

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    TBILISI, January 25 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia must become an example of successful cooperation between the USA and Russia, US State Secretary Colin Powell believes.

    "Georgia must not be a territory of competition between Russia and the USA. Georgia must become an example of US-Russia cooperation and the paragon of democracy in the region," the US state secretary told a press conference in Tbilisi after a meeting with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili.

    In his words, at the forthcoming talks in Moscow on Monday, he intends to raise the question of fulfilling the OSCE Istanbul agreements of 1999 on the terms of withdrawal of Russian military bases from Georgia.

    "In Moscow I intend to discuss the issues of development of democracy and the problems of Russian military bases' withdrawal from Georgian territory. I will remind my colleagues one more time that Russia must fulfill the Istanbul agreements," the US state secretary said.

    At the press conference, Powell touched upon the topic of Georgian-American military cooperation.

    "Upon the completion of the military program 'Training and Equipment' in May 2004, military cooperation with Georgia will be continued, but we don't want Georgia to have trouble with Russia because of us," Powell said.

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