State Department spokesperson Robert Wood released a statement Wednesday in which he urged the people in the country of Georgia participating in the April 9 protests to do so in a peaceful manner.

The unrest in Georgia comes from those who feel that President Mikheil Saakashvili has not delivered on promises for democratic reform that won him the election back in 2003.

Authorities in Georgia have expressed concern that the protests could turn violent, especially after a plot to overthrow the government was uncovered last month.

As a friend of Georgia, the United States stands with all Georgians in their continuing efforts to build democracy, Wood said in his statement Wednesday.

We urge the government of Georgia and all those participating in the April 9 protest rally to ensure that the demonstrations are peaceful and without violence.

Wood said that building a democracy can be facilitated when all political forces engage in dialogue, follow through on commitments, and collaborate on the hard work of democratic reform, including the electoral code and political environment, the judiciary, and independent media.

He said the US stands ready to sustain and deepen its support for these reforms, which are essential to Georgia's success as a democracy in which voters determine the country's political future.

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