Elizabeth Rood’s Comments to Media at Peace Corps G-19 Swearing-In Ceremony (July 5)
Q-n about the event
Charge d’Affairs, Elizabeth Rood: I am very pleased that these 41 new volunteers of the Peace Corps will start their duty all around Georgia. Since 2001, more than 900 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Georgia. The Peace Corps is an important symbol of both the friendship between the U.S. and Georgia and the support of the U.S. for Georgia.
Q-n about the events following June 20th protests
Charge d’Affairs, Elizabeth Rood: Of course, we remain concerned about the events of June 20th, and we consider it very important that the events of that day be investigated and dealt with in strict accordance with the rule of law, and transparently, and in a balanced manner.
Q-n about the alleged attempt of Coup d’etat
Charge d’Affairs, Elizabeth Rood: I really cannot comment on what specific charges are being investigated. Again, our concern and our hope are that events will be investigated and any actions that follow will take place in accordance with transparency and rule of law.
Q-n about Russia’s ban on flights and closure of ABL checkpoints with Abkhazia
Charge d’Affairs, Elizabeth Rood: I would say that the measures that the Russian Federation has imposed against Georgia in recent days, such as banning flights or discouraging Russian tourists from visiting Georgia, are unwarranted, unnecessary and disproportional, and I would especially point out that the closure of the ABL with Georgia’s Abkhazia region is a serious concern. It is creating an even more difficult humanitarian situation for residents of the Abkhazia region. It is restricting mobility and causing unnecessary hardships for residents on both sides of the ABL. This was a subject of discussion in the Geneva International Discussions, and we call on the de facto authorities in Sokhumi to reopen the administrative boundary crossing points. And, of course, we again call on the Russian Federation to abide by the 2008 ceasefire agreement and to allow humanitarian access and freedom of movement for both of Georgia’s occupied territories.