U.S. sends envoy to deal with Georgia crisis

Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:45am EDT


WASHINGTON, Aug 11 (Reuters) - The United States has sent a special envoy to help with international efforts to end the crisis between Georgia and Russia, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

Matt Bryza, the State Department's deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, was expected to arrive in the region on Monday, said State Department spokesman Robert Wood.

"He is on his way to the region. I don't know if he has landed yet ... he will be part of the mediation effort," Wood told reporters, adding he did not have details of Bryza's itinerary but believed he left on Sunday night.

Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili, a close U.S. ally, has accused Moscow of trying to overthrow his government as Russian troops pushed into two separatist regions, but Moscow said it had no intention of invading. The United States has called on Russia to withdraw its forces from Georgia. (Reporting by Sue Pleming; Editing by Kristin Roberts)