Ambassador Kelly’s comments to the media at Georgian American University (June 9)
Q-n about today’s event
Ambassador Kelly: We are celebrating 25 years of diplomatic relations between the United States and Georgia and this is really, I think, the most symbolic place to do it given that this is the Georgian American University. But, also because I think education is at the foundation of our collaboration because really what we’re trying to do here in Georgia is help you attain your aspirations of becoming a 21st century independent state and in order to do that, of course, we need to have your young people educated for the 21st century economy.
Q-n about Georgians detained in the United States on criminal charges
Ambassador Kelly: No, I I’m afraid I don’t have further information and, of course, this is an ongoing judicial process so it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to say anything in this context. What I will say is that we have very close cooperation with Georgian law enforcement. It is an absolutely critical relationship that we have and at the basis of this, of course, is the need for us to meet the challenge of international crime and international terrorism together. I don’t know about the situation of these individuals that you just mentioned but, of course, there will be due process for all these individuals.
Q-n about rumored changes in Rustavi 2’s station leadership and the potential impact on media freedom
Ambassador Kelly: Well, of course, we are very supportive of freedom of the press here in Georgia. Georgia, I think, has the freest media environment in this region, in general. Of course, we’re following this very closely. We’re not going to make any assumptions that any changes in the leadership would necessarily lead to any diminishing of Rustavi 2’s independence, but we’re following it very closely.