Ambassador Kelly’s Comments to Media at Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee (March 12)
Q-n about the Ambassador’s meeting with the Foreign Relations Committee
Ambassador Kelly: I very much enjoyed speaking to the members of the Foreign Relations Committee. I talked about U.S. policy and our very strong support for the path that Georgia is on towards Euro-Atlantic integration. We talked, in the question and answer period, about some of the challenges that Georgia faces and how the U.S. can assist in areas such as dealing with Russia, dealing with this terrible situation with South Ossetia, and in supporting Parliament itself in performing its very necessary role of not only representing their constituents, but also providing oversight over the activities of government. So, I was very happy to have this opportunity. Of course, all my meetings now are bitter-sweet because I know I am leaving in a couple of weeks; but I was glad to have this opportunity today.
Q-n about the Tatunashvili case and reaction from the international community
Ambassador Kelly: I think there are two main issues here: one is just humanitarian. I find it absolutely appalling that the family of this young man — the Tatunashvili family- – has not been able to get the remains of their loved one and be able to bury him in a fashion that pays him respects and gives them some kind of closure. I cannot understand why there is any kind of delay for this. So, that is one issue. The other issue, I think, is more of a political issue and that is a whole issue of accountability. There needs to be justice, there needs to be investigation,and there needs to be some kind of reckoning, some kind of accountability of the circumstances of his death. And, of course, this comes on the heels of another murder with no accountability, of course, that is the murder of Mr. Otkhozoria. So, I think, the eyes of the international community are on Russia and on South Ossetia now. And, we simply do not understand why there is no humanitarian gesture and why there is no accountability.
Q-n about the importance of Parliament’s draft resolution on Tatunashvili-Otkhozoria
Ambassador Kelly: I think it is very important that Parliament have a reaction. This reaction, I think, will be even more powerful if it is bipartisan. And, I think, any kind of reaction has to focus really on this issue of accountability. We have obviously lent our support and we will continue to lend our support for any kind of initiative from the Government or from Parliament.