Bush Will Send Rice to Georgia

President Bush will send Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Georgia to support its efforts in the face of Russian military actions.

Bush said Wednesday that Rice travel to the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, "where she will personally convey America's unwavering support for Georgia's democratic government."

"On this trip, she will continue our efforts to rally the free world in the defense of a free Georgia," Bush added. Rice will also meet in France with President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has been trying to mediate talks between Georgian and Russian officials.

Secretary of Defense Bob Gates will also begin a "humanitarian mission to the people of Georgia headed by the United States military," Bush said. "This mission will be vigorous and ongoing."

Bush again stated his support for Georgia's sovereignty and called on Russia to halt military action in the former Soviet state. Though Russian President Dmitri Medvedev had called for halt to military action, Bush said that he has received reports that Russian operations have continued.

"Russia has stated that changing the government of Georgia is not its goal," Bush said. "The United States and the world expect Russia to honor that commitment. Russia has also stated that it has halted military operations and agreed to a provisional cease-fire. Unfortunately, we're receiving reports of Russian actions that are inconsistent with these statements."