President Bush is dispatching Vice President Cheney to Georgia, setting up a high-ranking diplomatic mission to an ally reeling from a short, intense war.

The White House announced Monday that Cheney will head abroad on Sept. 2 for stops in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine and Italy.

The vice president's office described Cheney's trip only in the broadest terms, saying Bush wants his No. 2 to consult with key partners on matters of mutual interest.

The dominant attention will likely fall on Georgia, where conflict with Russia has reignited Cold War tensions. Cheney will hold talks in Georgia with President Mikhail Saakashvili, as he will meet with presidents and senior officials in the other countries.