News

US Dismisses Recognition of Breakaway Georgian Regions by Pacific Island State

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly (file)
State Department spokesman Ian Kelly (file)

The State Department says the diplomatic move by the tiny Pacific state has no practical meaning and that the vast majority of countries around the world continue to reject the notion of the two Georgian areas as independent.

Nauru, with only about 15 square kilometers of territory and 11,000 inhabitants, is considered the world's smallest republic. It has been experiencing lean economic times because of the depletion of its main resource - phosphate-rich bird droppings prized for fertilizer.

Its announcement on recognition followed a request to Moscow for large-scale economic help but it is unclear whether Russian aid will be forthcoming.

Only Venezuela and Nicaragua had extended recognition to Abkhazia and South Ossetia since Moscow began a diplomatic drive for such action after its brief 2008 war with Georgia.

Ian Kelly (file)
Ian Kelly (file)

At a news briefing, State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly said the addition of Nauru to the short list does nothing to affect the political equation.

"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," he said. "We continue to support, as [does] the absolute vast majority of countries around world the territorial integrity of Georgia. And that that means that we consider these entities as parts of Georgia."

Kelly urged all countries to support Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty and to respect multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions recognizing the breakaway regions as parts of Georgia.

He said Russia and Georgia should uphold commitments under the French-brokered cease-fire agreement that ended the 2008 conflict.

The Russian Foreign Ministry welcomed Tuesday's announcement by Nauru, saying it will boost the standing of the two entities and contribute to regional stability.

Earlier this week, the State Department expressed regret over the staging Saturday of a presidential election in Abkhazia won by the region's incumbent leader, Sergei Bagapsh.

Bagapsh was said to have won a second five-year term with about 60 percent of votes cast though his nearest rival, a former Russian security agent, alleged irregularities.

State Department spokesman Kelly said in a written statement Monday the United States recognizes neither the legality nor the results of the Abkhazia election. The Georgian government called the vote invalid.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs