BUSH THANKS EU FOR 'STRONG MESSAGES' ON GEORGIA

Agence France Presse
Sept 2 2008
FRANCE

WASHINGTON (AFP) -- US President George W. Bush praised "strong
messages" from Europe on the crisis in Georgia during a telephone
call with Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, the White House
said Tuesday.

Bush also discussed the standoff with Russia during a separate
conversation with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, emphasizing the
importance of implementing a French-brokered ceasefire pact, said
spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

The US president thanked Balkenende for Dutch experts who helped
prepare the US Gulf Coast for Hurricane Gustav's onslaught, and
cooperation on the war in Afghanistan, as well as the crisis in
Georgia, said Johndroe.

Bush, who has sharply criticized Russia, "expressed appreciation
for the EU sending strong messages. The two leaders also discussed
the importance of supporting Georgia's territorial integrity and
reconstruction," he said.

And "the president underscored the importance of bringing India into
the nonproliferation regime including through the work that will take
place this week at the Nuclear Suppliers Group meetings in Vienna,"
said Johndroe.

The 45-member group ended a two-day meeting in Vienna Friday without
reaching agreement on lifting a 34-year-old embargo on nuclear trade
with India, a key step for a US-India nuclear cooperation pact.

Bush also discussed Georgia with Gul, "underlining the importance of
full compliance with the six-point ceasefire agreement," said Johndroe.

The two leaders also discussed efforts to improve Turkey's relations
with Armenia, as well as "the growing Turkish-Iraqi relationship"
including efforts to crush Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels
based in northern Iraq, he said.

"They also discussed the importance of Iran agreeing to verifiably
suspend enrichment and offered their strong support for the talks on
a Cyprus settlement which begin tomorrow," he said.