On July 8 at Tbilisi State University, Ambassador Kelly swore-in 56 Americans as the newest Peace Corps Volunteers to arrive, train, and serve in Georgia. Representatives of the Ministry of Education & Science, Ministry of Sport & Youth Affairs and other partner organizations also attended the ceremony. This is the 16th group of Volunteers to serve in Georgia since the program was established in 2001, bringing the total of American citizens who have served with the Peace Corps in Georgia to over 650.
Ambassador Kelly’s media availability on the sidelines of the Peace Corps Volunteer swearing-in ceremony
In response to question asked about the expectations for Georgia at NATO Warsaw Summit:
Ambassador Kelly: As you all know Secretary Kerry was here just yesterday. One of his messages was to reaffirm our support for Georgia’s aspirations to join NATO and I was very pleased to see today that all the leaders of the parties in Parliament and the President, the Prime Minster, the Chairman of the Parliament all reaffirmed that intention. The United States stands firmly behind the decision of the Alliance in 2008 that Georgia will become a member of NATO.
In response to question on Ambassador Kelly’s assessment of Secretary Kerry’s messages to Georgia:
Ambassador Kelly: One of his main messages was our support for Georgia’s independence and sovereign choices. But I think the other main message that we were sending was the importance of the development of democracy here, in Georgia, and how important this pre-electoral period is and in that regard I think that the Secretary had very good meetings with the President, the Prime Minister, and the other leaders about the importance of maintaining a good pre-electoral atmosphere and, of course, one of the main components of that is ensuring that all voices – government and opposition – have access to the media. And we did talk of our concerns, our mutual concerns really, U.S. and Georgian Government concerns, about the possible impact of any change in editorial management at Rustavi 2.