Ambassador Ian Kelly’s statement after presenting credentials to the President of Georgia (September 17)

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“First of all, I am absolutely thrilled to be here in Georgia and I am also very honored to be received, so quickly, by the President; I think it’s an indication of the importance of our bilateral relationship.  We talked about a whole broad range of issues: from security issues to economic and trade issues to cultural issues; the importance of expanding contacts between Georgians and Americans; we talked about the importance of helping Georgia develop its educational system to be more modern and we are thrilled to help Georgia in that regard.”

Ambassador Ian Kelly’s statement following the meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Giorgi Kvirikashvili 

“Let me say, first of all, how thrilled I am to be here.  I have been coming to Georgia for almost forty years and I have always wanted to represent my country in Tbilisi, so it is an absolute thrill to be here.  I’ve just had a good meeting with the Minister where we talked about a broad range of the issues in our relationship.   We focused, I think, in particular on addressing some of Georgia’s biggest challenges, which of course is Georgia’s territorial integrity and ensuring that Georgia is able to exercise its freedom of choice in choosing its own alliances and security arrangements. We talked about how we can reinforce that.  We also talked about how we can broaden our trade relationships.  So, I know that the Minister is going to the United States, I am very pleased that he’s going, and we agreed that after he comes back we’ll sit down again and talk about his trip and talk about where we go from here.  And again, I am very, very pleased to be here.”