Ambassador Kelly’s Remarks to Media Following Meeting with Opposition Leaders (March 5)

Ambassador Kelly’s Remarks to Media Following Meeting with Opposition Leaders (March 5)


Q-n about the meeting and whether Tatunashvili’s death was discussed

Ambassador Ian Kelly: I think you know that these are sad weeks for me.  I am going to leave in less than three weeks from now.  I am starting to make calls on my good friends and partners and, of course, European Georgia is a good partner in supporting Georgia’s aspirations to join the Euro-Atlantic community.  I believe very strongly that Georgia is on that path.  We talked about ways to make Georgia a stronger democracy.  A big part of democracy is pluralism and you really cannot have a mature democracy without pluralism: pluralism among parties and parliament, pluralism in the media, and strong institutions.  We talked about how we can partner in our common goal: building a stronger democracy and helping Georgia join the Euro-Atlantic community.  The government is a good partner with us in supporting Georgia in its aspirations and pro-Western parties, like European Georgia, are good partners as well.  Now, on the other case that you mentioned, this is an absolutely appalling situation.  It has very deep humanitarian considerations.  I feel terrible for the family.  I simply cannot understand why his body has not been returned and the other two detainees have not been returned.  The United States will support the government in its efforts.  We are talking, as well, to the Russian Federation about the urgency of this case.  And, we will continue to do that.

Q-n about the Parliamentary resolution on Tatunashvili

Ambassador Ian Kelly: We talked briefly about this in the meeting – I don’t really know about two different drafts.  I think it is good that Parliament come together as one: both the majority party and the minority parties come together with one resolution.