Ambassador Kelly’s comments to the media on the sidelines of the World Congress on CBRN Science and Consequence Management in Tbilisi (May 30)

Question on the significance of the World Congress on CRBN Science and Consequence Management

Ambassador Kelly:  This is an extraordinarily important event because this is an issue that demands international cooperation, and we are very pleased that Georgia for the second time in three years is playing host to this world congress.

Question on the ongoing Rustavi 2 court case

Ambassador Kelly:  Since  it is an ongoing appeal process I will not comment on the specifics of the case.  I think you know that our priority of course is the elections in the fall.  We want to be sure that these elections are free and fair and seen by everybody in Georgia as completely legitimate and expressing  the will of the Georgian people.  And for that reason of course we need to see a free and fair and open media environment.  And so of course that is why we are following this case very closely, and it is very important that all voices be heard in Georgia in this very important election, and of course Rustavi 2 plays a very important role in ensuring access for all voices in the elections.

Request for comment on the Kortskheli incident during the recent by-elections there

Ambassador Kelly:  First of all what happened on Sunday was completely unacceptable I think in a democratic society. This kind of political violence can only do damage to what I was talking about before:  that is having a pre-electoral environment that ensures a good dialogue with the voters.  We have been in contact with the government to urge them to have a thorough investigation and to bring those responsible for this  unacceptable violence to account.  But I think also going forward, as we get closer to the elections, I think that various political parties need to have more dialogue and come up with some form of consensus on a code of conduct to reject violence of any kind in an election period.