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Bush Says Georgia is Example of Freedom to World


President George W. Bush, right, waves as he stands on stage with Laura Bush, center, and Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, left, after speaking in Freedom Square
President Bush has praised the people of Georgia for their courage in the cause of freedom, saying their determination has inspired democratic reformers around the world.

Mr. Bush Tuesday told a crowd of tens of thousands in Tbilisi that their peaceful "Rose Revolution" 18 months ago set an example for democracy movements in places such as Lebanon, Ukraine, Iraq and Kyrgyzstan.

He also declared that Georgia's territorial sovereignty must be respected by all nations.

President Bush spoke in the capital's Freedom Square - the center of former Soviet republic's 2003 non-violent political uprising that ushered in a new reformist, pro-Western government.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili Tuesday introduced Mr. Bush to the crowd as a "freedom fighter" and a friend of Georgia.

Earlier, President Bush said the United States supports Georgia's aspirations to join NATO, and will help Mr. Saakashvili to peacefully resolve problems in his country's separatist regions.

Georgia was the last stop on Mr. Bush's four-nation European tour marking the 60th anniversary the end of World War II in Europe.

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