CDA Elizabeth Rood’s Remarks to Media at Georgia’s European Way Conference (July 12)

CDA Elizabeth Rood’s Remarks to Media at Georgia’s European Way Conference 

Q-n about the event

Charge d’Affairs, Elizabeth Rood: I congratulate Georgia on hosting the 16th conference on Georgia’s European Way.  This conference also coincides with the 10th anniversary of Georgia’s participation in the Eastern Partnership with the European Union.  It is a good time also to celebrate all of the successes and achievements Georgia has made towards European Union integration in these ten years: the Association Agreement, visa liberalization, and the deep and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.  It is also a good time to look ahead, to see how Georgia can integrate further with Europe in the coming years.  This is important to the United States, because when Georgia is integrated into Europe, it is a stronger partner for the United States, as well.

Q-n about the Black Sea security and the U.S. role in it

Charge d’Affairs, Elizabeth Rood: The United States and Georgia have a very strong partnership in a broad range of security and military cooperation, and one focus of that is Black Sea security.  Georgia is, of course, uniquely placed in the eastern Black Sea to contribute to security in the Black Sea region and beyond, bilaterally with the United States, as well as through NATO cooperation, including intensified measures or areas of cooperation in the NATO framework.

Q-n about the recently announced U.S. support for farmers in Georgia

Charge d’Affairs, Elizabeth Rood: Recently the United States’ Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a new assistance program in the agricultural sphere, and it is designed to assist farmers to increase productivity, to bring their crops to market, and to promote widespread sustainable economic growth in Georgia, especially in the regions.

Q-n about the June 20th events and about MOIA Gakharia’s statement that at that night Ambassador’s of different countries were at the parliament – where you there?

Charge d’Affairs, Elizabeth Rood: As we have said before, the events that occurred on June 20th do require full investigation in terms of use of force, in terms of violence on the part of some of the demonstrators, and we are glad that this investigation appears to be underway.  I can’t comment specifically on who was in Parliament that day, I personally was in the United States attending my daughter’s wedding.

Q-n about Putin’s remarks on Georgia and the U.S support in this regard

Charge d’Affairs, Elizabeth Rood: The United States has watched with concern the disproportionate measures that the Russian government and members of the Duma discussed, and in some cases imposed, in reaction to the recent developments in Georgia.  However, now that both leaders of Russia and the leaders of Georgia have expressed commitment to a stable bilateral relationship, we encourage Russia to resume flights to and from Georgia, where tourists from all over the world are welcome and safe, and of course, with respect to Georgia’s territorial integrity we are firmly committed to Georgia’s territorial integrity, and we know that South Ossetia and Abkhazia are integral parts of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders.

Q-n from Rustavi2:

Where you at parliament on the night of June 20 until 7:00 am?

Charge d’Affairs, Elizabeth Rood: I certainly was not at Parliament on 20th of June.  I was in the United States at my daughter’s wedding.

Q-n: was someone there from the embassy?

Charge d’Affairs, Elizabeth Rood: No.

Q-n: you were not invited or got invitation and didn’t go? 

Charge d’Affairs, Elizabeth Rood: No one was there, and no one was invited, as far as I know.  I was in the United States.