During his first official trip to Zugdidi on February 2, Ambassador Kelly visited several sites where the U.S. government is partnering with local institutions. At Radio Atinati Ambassador Kelly met with staff and sat for a radio interview. He then visited the Atinati Youth Center, a partner of USAID. Finally, at the Zugdidi American Corner at the Central Library of Zugdidi he met with Mayor Irakli Gogokhia and other municipal leaders. The students of the Zugdidi American Corner treated Ambassador Kelly to a musical performance of English songs, and then he joined a dynamic discussion with the patrons, talking about his diplomatic background, priorities as U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, and Georgia’s enormous potential for future development.
In response to a reporter’s question on an ICC investigation into the 2008 Georgia-Russia war:
Ambassador Kelly: “I think our real concern with the very tragic events of 2008 is that there hasn’t been enough transparency about what exactly happened in August of 2008. And also we are very concerned about the fact that Russia has not abided by the agreements that it has signed in 2008 in terms of withdrawing to its positions before August 2008. And of course we are very concerned about the very unnatural border, which we do not even call the border, because we consider Abkhazia part of Georgia. So, we would like to see more contacts, more openness, more transparency. And of course the Hague tribunal is striving to try and investigate exactly what happened.”