Ambassador Kelly Degnan’s Media Comments Following Event Marking World Hepatitis Day (July 28)

Q-n about the importance of World Hepatitis Day  

Ambassador Kelly Degnan: Today is World Hepatitis Day, declared by the World Health Organization back in 2011. What is really important here is that Georgia is once again a leader in the effort to eliminate this devastating disease. Seventy thousand Georgians have been treated, tested; almost 70% of the population has been tested and 30% remains to receive the treatment. This treatment is free and it is vital that those who are struggling with this disease undergo the free treatment that will save their lives in the long run. So again, today is inspiring because it is a recognition of the extent of this disease and acknowledgment that Georgia is once again a leader in this public health field.

Q-n about the recent conversation between Secretary of State Pompeo and PM Giorgi Gakharia: “what can you add to the official statement of the State Department and also why was it necessary to remind Mr. Gakharia and the Government of Georgia that we must have fair and transparent elections in the country?” 

Ambassador Kelly Degnan: It is always very positive and useful when our leaders talk and we have a very broad agenda of cooperation between Georgia and the U.S so it is important that we have these conversations regularly as we do through many different channels. Obviously, there is a great deal of interest in and attention to Georgia’s October elections, this is an opportunity for Georgia to demonstrate its commitment to improving its electoral process. Free, fair, transparent elections, free of vote-buying, free of voter intimidation, is the very best way to show Georgia’s commitment to its democratic progress.

Q-n about Tamar Bachaliashvili’s family requesting the FBI’s involvement in investigating her computer files, possibly deleted 

Ambassador Kelly Degnan: It is an ongoing investigation, so it would not be appropriate for me to comment on an ongoing investigation. I would like to express my deepest sympathies to Ms. Tamar’s family and her friends.  There is nothing more tragic than losing a child and I just want to say how very very sorry I am.