Page last updated at 20:48 GMT, Friday, 15 August 2008 21:48 UK

Brown calls for Russia withdrawal

Gordon Brown
The prime minister has underlined his commitment to the peace process

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has joined the US in calling for Russia to immediately withdraw from Georgia.

Mr Brown spoke in a phone call to Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili, after his meeting in Tbilisi with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Russia's incursion was a "completely unjustified violation of Georgia's territorial integrity", the prime minister's spokesman said.

In addition, Britain is to give 2m to the Red Cross appeal for Georgia.

International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander said the money would help International Committee of the Red Cross staff on the ground provide extra medical and surgical aid to the injured.

It would also help restore the water supply in Tskhinvali, the main town of the breakaway region, South Ossetia.

Ceasefire deal

Georgia's president has signed an EU-brokered ceasefire deal, after nearly five hours of talks on Friday.

Speaking after his phone call to Georgia, Mr Brown said he welcomed President Saakashvili's commitment to implement the peace agreement - brokered by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy - without delay.

His spokesman said that he had underlined the UK's support for a peace process, and expressed the UK's willingness to contribute to the proposed monitoring mission by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The crisis began when Georgia attacked the breakaway region of South Ossetia a week ago, sparking Russian intervention.

Russian troops continue to occupy positions in Georgia.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said earlier that the Georgian president's acceptance of a six-point ceasefire plan meant all Russian combat forces should leave immediately.

Cameron visit

Conservative leader David Cameron will visit Georgia on Saturday.

Earlier in the week, Mr Cameron said Britain and the West should be doing more to prevent Russian aggression and called on Mr Brown to step up diplomatic pressure on Russia.

BBC political correspondent David Thompson said Mr Cameron believed the British government had been slow to respond to the crisis, which flared up while the prime minister and foreign secretary were on holiday.

The government has held talks with Mr Sarkozy, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and G7 and EU foreign ministers.

On Tuesday, Mr Brown said he had told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev "very directly" that "Russian aggression" had been condemned around the world and said the UK would provide humanitarian aid to the region.

The Liberal Democrats have urged the EU and others to "show tough resolve in helping to negotiate a lasting peace".





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