Ambassador Kelly’s Remarks to the Media at the Spelling Bee Competition

Question about the case of Rustavi 2 (transferring of control package of Rustavi 2 owners to the team and employers of Rustavi 2 company)

We, Americans, have come to really appreciate in the last couple of months the importance of a pluralistic media — a media that is free to raise its voice even if that voice is critical. And for that reason, that’s why we have been so concerned about the continuation of pluralism in Georgia. I don’t have all the details of this news package, but I our bottom line concern has not changed. That’s that Georgia remains a place where all voices in the legitimate political process of the opposition, have access to the airwaves. And that’s why we think it’s so important that Rustavi 2 keep its editorial policy.

What do you think will it be better for media freedom — this TV to made the ownership of the employers?

I can’t really say. The important thing is to be sustainable. That Georgia continues to have many different voices. And we just hope that this all comes up the right way.

Question about spelling competition

First of all — this is a lot of fun. This is a real tradition in American schools. They call them spelling bees. So, it’s just a lot of fun to be here. But I think more importantly, it is one of our tools to help Georgia enter the 21st century. And of course, I particularly want Georgians to learn English. But it’s also the most important tool for entering into the 21st century economy — especially when it comes to science and information technology. This is a partnership between the U.S. government and the Georgian government to encourage the study of English. I am very happy to be a part of it.

Question about UN Human rights council Resolution supporting Georgia.

We supported the resolution. We are concerned about the state of human rights and the two suspicious regions. We support it because we would like to see more opportunity. I think that in the 21st century, what we need is more contact, not fences, not the cutting off of one people from another. And we supported that for human rights reason and also because we will always support Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders.