Ambassador Kelly’s Remarks to Media at the Peace Corps Swearing-In Ceremony (July 7)
Question about the event
Ambassador Kelly: It is a real honor for me to participate in this swearing-in ceremony for the newest group of Peace Corps Volunteers, 53 Americans who are coming here and participating in a very critical part of our assistance to our Georgian friends.
Question about Demirel College Manager Mustafa Emre Cabuk’s detention
Ambassador Kelly: I can’t really comment on the specifics of the case against Mr. Cabuk. What I will say is that we have taken a real interest in this case, and we, of course, have our own requests for extradition, and what I just would like to emphasize is that in the United States we take these decisions very seriously and any decision to extradite has to be based on a very strong body of evidence. We have conveyed to the Georgian government that we would hope and expect that any decisions in this regard would be based on very strong evidence against the individual.
Question about the reported placement of new Green Signs at the ABL
Ambassador Kelly: Let me just say that there is only one border that we recognize here in Georgia and that is the internationally recognized state border of Georgia. We take very seriously any accusations of further encroachment in the Georgian sovereign territory. We are in very close contact with the Monitoring Mission in this regard. The United States has been, is, and will be a very strong supporter of Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over its entire country.
Question about the role of the international community and creeping occupation
Ambassador Kelly: We should continue to speak out, the United States is speaking out. Vice President Pence is very clear that we respect the territorial integrity of Georgia within its international borders, the members of NATO have just outspoken on this, and we will raise this in a bilateral forum, we will raise it in Geneva, and we will raise it at any opportunity. The United States does not accept the recognition of two sovereign units of Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and we will remain resolute in rejecting the redefining of borders.
Question about reports of fuel fraud at the U.S. Embassy
Ambassador Kelly: I think you are referring to the release of the report by our Inspector General of corruption and embezzlement in our embassy community association. We have pursued this case vigorously, and we have been very clear that we consider any corruption to be theft. This is stealing from the pockets of people and we treated very seriously.