Ambassador Kelly’s comments to media at the SDSU Convocation Ceremony (September 11)
Q-n: What does having such a high-level university in Georgia mean to the country?
Ambassador Kelly: Well I think this is a very unique university. This is the only university in the region which has an American curriculum and grants an American degree. And I think just as importantly—what’s in our interest and our joint interests—is that it emphasizes the STEM disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. We want Georgia to be able to make the transition to a 21st century economy, and this will of course help in that regard.
Q-n: How should the Ukrainian and Georgian governments respond to the situation [of Mikheil Saakashvili’s return to Ukraine]?
Ambassador Kelly: We have very important partnerships with both Ukraine and Georgia. Of course I’m the U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, so I can’t really comment on events that take place in Ukraine. What I will say is that it’s very important, I think, to be very scrupulous in ensuring that there is due process of law for anyone, in any country. And there are clearly a number of legal issues involved here, and I think we would hope that there would be appropriate legal processes for these various issues.
Q-n: Were there illegal activities in this incident on the side of Saakashvili or the side of Ukraine?
Ambassador Kelly: I’m not going to answer that question. Ukraine is a sovereign country, and Ukraine will have to make its own decisions based upon the evidence. It’s not for me to pronounce the legality of what happened yesterday.