TBILISI, Georgia, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- President Mikheil Saakashvili's signature on a cease-fire agreement means Russian occupying troops must exit Georgia now, the U.S. Secretary of State said.
"With the signature of the Georgian president on the cease-fire accord, all Russian troops and any irregular and paramilitary forces that entered with them must leave (Georgia) immediately," Condoleezza Rice said Friday during a news conference in Tbilisi with Saakashvili.
Rice traveled to Georgia and France prior to that, to advance the cease-fire agreement to end the conflict in Georgia that began last week in the breakaway province of South Ossetia.
Rice said she also received clarification from French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who brokered the cease-fire with Russian leaders, on the point concerning a continued Russian military presence under the flag of peacekeeping and security.
To stabilize the situation, under terms of the cease-fire, "we we need international observers on the scene fast," Rice said. The monitors would come in advance of a "more robust and impartial force of peacekeepers."
Rice said monitors could be in Georgia hot zones -- South Ossetia and Abkhazia -- and "I count on Russian cooperation" in getting the monitors in place, so the rebuilding of Georgia could begin.
At times speaking emotionally, Saakashvili emphasized the document he signed was "a cease-fire agreement, not a final settlement," stressing that his country would rebuild.
"We are under Russian invasion and Russian occupation right now," he said. "I want the world to know that Georgia never, ever will reconcile with ... occupation."