CDA Elizabeth Rood at Diplomat Discussion Series (June 15)
Q-n about the event
Charge d’Affairs, Elizabeth Rood: I am very pleased to meet the open media group today and colleagues from my embassy, and from the Georgian parliament, in this discussion for students and young professionals. We plan to discuss our partnership, our cooperation in the areas of economy, security, people to people contacts, and democracy and governance. I think this is a very important event in raising knowledge and awareness about the importance of the U.S. – Georgia strategic partnership.
Q-n about the future of the U.S. – Georgia bilateral relations especially in trade and commerce
Charge d’Affairs, Elizabeth Rood: Well, the visit of the Prime Minister to Washington was a very good opportunity, on the tenth anniversary of our Strategic Partnership Charter, to review our bilateral cooperation in all the areas of the Charter: democracy and governance, military security cooperation, economic and trade cooperation, and people to people contacts. And so, in the coming months and years, we will continue to build and expand our bilateral relationship in all of these areas, and the memorandum that was agreed upon at the conclusion of the Strategic Partnership Charter meeting was a very good basis for carrying that work forward. Specifically in the area of trade and economic cooperation, we have many projects through USAID that support Georgia and its sustainable and inclusive economic growth. We have a growing trade relationship. We have some particularly important projects; for example, the development of the Anaklia Deep Sea Port, the importance of which was confirmed by the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister, which represents a very important U.S. investment. That will also be very important in developing Georgia’s potential as a transportation and trade hub. But we are doing many other things. We work closely with American companies to try to attract more business and investment here, so I think that in sum the StrategicPartnership Commission and the agreement that was reached will give us a very strong basis to build on that.
Q-n about Karasin’s remark that if Georgia keeps on striving towards NATO, Russia-Georgia relations will be harmed
Charge d’Affairs, Elizabeth Rood: The United States’ position remains unchanging and unwavering, and that is that we support Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders and that includes supporting Georgia’s sovereign right to choose its own partners, its own alliances, its own future, and we will continue that policy.