Ambassador Kelly’s comments to media upon his arrival in Georgia (September 16)

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“Hello. Thank you for coming out. My wife Francesca and I are thrilled to be here. I’ve been coming to Georgia for 39 years. I’m dating myself by saying that. I’m sorry I don’t speak your language. In fact, I forgot to say “Gamarjoba” at the beginning. I have always wanted to serve in Tbilisi. I’ve been in the Foreign Service for 30 years and I have always wanted to serve here. This was the one job I wanted in the Foreign Service. So, you can imagine how thrilled I am to be here.

Because I have not presented my credentials I obviously don’t want to say too much before I meet with the President tomorrow. But let me just say that my main priority I think will be to support Georgia and to deepen bilateral relationships between U.S. and Georgia. And one of the main priorities of the United States is to support Georgia and its aspirations to become more integrated with Euro-Atlantic institutions and I feel very confident in saying that I don’t think you will find a stronger advocate for Georgia and its Euro-Atlantic vocation, and I don’t think you’ll find a more passionate supporter for deepening U.S.-Georgian relations.

So, thank you for coming out and I’m sure we’ll be seeing each other a lot.”