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Ambassador Kelly Degnan’s Comment to Media at the TVET Awards Ceremony
July 30, 2020

Q-n about the importance of the Technical and Vocational Education Training Program

Ambassador Degnan: Tonight was the fourth annual awards ceremony for the Technical and Vocational Education Training Program that the Millennium Foundation and the United States government support, along with the Ministry of Education. This is an important event to recognize the commitment, the innovation, the contribution made by vocational education to Georgia’s economic growth and the United States Embassy is very proud to be part of this and supporting Georgia’s efforts to develop its vocational education skills.

Q-n about the letter from six Congressmen letter addressed to Secretary Pompeo

Ambassador Degnan: I think you know, in our system we have a clear separation between the executive branch and the legislative branch, so it would not be appropriate for me to comment directly on a letter by congressional representatives. I would say, of course, it is important to hear the concerns, take seriously any concerns or messages from Congress. They are coming from people who follow Georgia closely, who care about Georgia’s success closely. My experience here, in six months of talking with Georgian Dream and the opposition, what I have seen is Georgia’s leaders are very committed to Georgia’s best interests, to finding ways to increase Georgia’s economic stability and prosperity and to bring more stability and security to this country.

Q-n about March 8 agreement, its full implementation, Constitutional amendments adopted, Giorgi Rurua’s case and overall judicial system evaluation

Ambassador Degnan: I would hope that the judge who issued the decision in Mr. Rurua’s case was able to decide that case independently of any political interference. I know that initially there were questions, including from the Public Defender’s Office, about the factual basis for the charges against Mr. Rurua.  The U.S. Embassy and others also had concerns about the timing and the circumstances of his arrest and his prosecution. An independent judiciary, as I have said before, is absolutely crucial to Georgia’s development, for Georgians to have confidence in the decisions rendered by their courts and their justices, for investors to invest in this country and for the democratic health and progress of this country.

Q-n about Georgian Government’s response to Covid-19 pandemic

Ambassador Degnan: I think that Georgia has been recognized around the world by many for its very responsible and effective management of this unprecedented pandemic and we have been impressed with the way that Georgians have responded to their government’s request to follow these restrictions. Of course, the challenge now is the economic recovery from this and I think the government has shown a responsible approach in trying to revive Georgia’s economy as quickly as possible.