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    U.S. WILL NOT SET UP BASES IN GEORGIA - POWELL

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    MOSCOW, January 26th, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - The United States has no plans to deploy military bases in Georgia, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said in Moscow on Monday.

    The presence of the US military in Georgia was meant to help it fight against terrorism, he said. This mission is ending, and now we will have normal relations with Georgia in the military and diplomatic areas, like with other countries, added the US secretary of state.

    According to him, the United States is interested in solid democratic development of Georgia. We are ready to back the Georgian leadership, including financially. This is where Russia and the United States should co-operate and not compete, Powell believes.

    Mr Powell added that Washington sought good relations with Georgia like those that have been established with other countries. We do not want to build bases across the entire world, there is no need for it, said the secretary of state.

    Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov in turn stated, "We have taken it into consideration that the United States is not going to deploy military bases in Georgia and that the present-day military co-operation is aimed to strengthen Georgia's potential in the fight against international terrorism."

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