Obama urges restraint by Russia and Georgia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama on Friday urged restraint by both Russia and Georgia in the conflict over the breakaway region of South Ossetia in Georgia.

Obama, a Democrat, also echoed the Bush administration in supporting the territorial integrity of Georgia.

“I strongly condemn the outbreak of violence in Georgia, and urge an immediate end to armed conflict,” Obama said in a statement. “Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid an escalation to full-scale war. Georgia’s territorial integrity must be respected.”

Obama called for direct talks among all sides and said the United States, U.N. Security Council and other parties should try to help bring about a peaceful resolution.

Reporting by Caren Bohan