CDA Elizabeth Rood’s Remarks to Media on the sidelines of the 16th annual conference on Georgia’s European Way in Batumi (July 11)
q-n about the conference and the importance of diversifying markets for Georgia in the light of recent events
Charge d’Affairs, Elizabeth Rood: Well, we congratulate Georgia on convening this 16th annual conference on Georgia’s European Way, which is also a chance to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the EU Eastern Partnership and all of the achievements that Georgia has made in the framework of the Association Agreement, the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, and the visa liberalization to the Schengen Zone countries. The United States welcomes all of this, because when Georgia is more integrated with the European Union, it makes Georgia also a stronger partner for the United States.
q-n about the demonstrations demanding the resignation of Georgia’s Interior Minister Gakharia
Charge d’Affairs, Elizabeth Rood: What I would say to the protestors is that the overwhelming majority of the Georgian population supports Georgia’s European Way and Georgia’s western integration, including membership in NATO and the European Union, and that is also a goal that the United States fully supports.
q-n about Vladimir Putin’s statement accusing Georgia of occupying its own territories
Charge d’Affairs, Elizabeth Rood: I would recommend we leave it to historians to teach us about Georgian history and, I think, there is no question about the fact that South Ossetia and Abkhazia are integral parts of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders; and so, I would reiterate the United States’ firm commitment to Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.