The recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by the tiny Pacific island of Nauru will not make the governments of the former Georgian republics legitimate, a U.S. State Department spokesman has said.
Nauru, the world's smallest island state with a population of 14,000, has become the fourth country to recognize South Ossetia's independence, joining Russia, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
"On the first issue, the issue of the island of Nauru — is that how it's pronounced, Nauru? I didn't say it right — recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia, I would just say that the recognition by Nauru, in and of itself, does absolutely nothing in our eyes to help establish or underpin in some way the legitimacy of the de facto governments in both of those separatist regions," U.S. State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly told a press briefing on Wednesday.
Kelly said his country would continue to support the territorial integrity of Georgia "as the absolute vast majority of countries around the world."
"We consider these entities as parts of Georgia and not as separate entities. We call on all states to uphold their commitments under numerous UN Security Council resolutions and the French-brokered ceasefire agreement, and we call on all countries to support, as we do, Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty," he said.
A Russian foreign ministry spokesman, Andrei Nesterenko, earlier said that Nauru's recognition would help to strengthen the international legitimacy of the former Georgian republics.
South Ossetia and Nauru on Wednesday established diplomatic relations. The joint statement was signed by Nauru Foreign Minister Kieren Keke and South Ossetian Ambassador to Russia Dmitry Medoyev, who received special powers from South Ossetia's president, Eduard Kokoity. On Tuesday, Nauru recognized the independence of Abkhazia.
WASHINGTON, December 17 (RIA Novosti)