Chargé d’Affaires Elizabeth Rood’s comment to media at the Fulbright Scholarship Launch Reception (May 1)
Q-n about the event
CDA Elizabeth Rood: One of the most important things any country can do to invest in its economic development is [to invest in] the education of the future generation, and we’re very pleased that for many years now the United States Embassy has partnered with the Government of Georgia in the development of education here. One of the most important contributions that we make in education is our exchange programs. Over our 26-year diplomatic relationship, more than 5,000 Georgians have gone to the United States for study. Our most prestigious scholarship is the Fulbright Program, which we are delighted to launch today. Georgia is very special in that the Government of Georgia has contributed half of the cost of the Fulbright Program here, which has allowed us to double the number of Georgians who we send on this prestigious scholarship program. We would also like to express special thanks to Bank of Georgia which also makes a contribution that enables Georgian students to study on the Fulbright program. We have something very special to announce this year, and that is to enable more qualified applicants to complete their applications successfully, we are launching an online course that will help applicants create better essays. That will start May 7 and will go through the month of May. So we encourage every applicant to take advantage of this online course.
Q-n about Assistant Secretary Dr. A. Wess Mitchell’s visit and what was his main message during his two-day visit to Georgia
CDA Elizabeth Rood: We were delighted that Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell was able to visit Georgia. He delivered the keynote speech at the NATO Public Diplomacy Forum. He had come from the NATO Foreign Ministerial meeting in Brussels, where he’d been with our new Secretary of State, Secretary Pompeo, and the two of them in Brussels delivered a very strong message of support for Georgia’s NATO membership and the United States’ commitment to support Georgia on that path. Secretary Mitchell also had a series of meetings with Georgian Government officials, including the Prime Minister, the President, the Speaker of Parliament, and representatives of various political parties, and discussed the very strong partnership between Georgia and the United States in economic development, human rights,reforms, and many other things, as well as our continuing and deepening security relationship. And finally, today Assistant Secretary Mitchell went to the Administrative Boundary Line in Odzisi and saw for himself the unacceptable results of Russian occupation in the South Ossetia region, and the effects that it is having on the community there and condemned the abductions, the detentions, and the killings of Georgian citizens that have taken place in that territory.