US Embassy joins Georgian officials in celebration of National Day of Persons with Disabilities (June 14)

OIMG_0021n June 14, together with Georgia’s Minister of Justice and Ombudsman, Ambassador Kelly and USAID representatives celebrated National Day of Persons with Disabilities by highlighting the long-running work of the U.S. Government to address disability issues in Georgia.  USAID’s current Disability Legal Advocacy Project seeks to improve advocacy and legal representation for persons with disabilities in Georgia, and is being implemented by the Coalition for Independent Living.   Ambassador Kelly told the media that he was honored and to play a small part at the event, noting “It is important for all societies – not just for Georgia’s – to build a tolerant society that is inclusive of all individuals no matter who they are, no matter what their abilities or disabilities are.”


Question about the June 12 attack in Orlando, Florida and the security situation now

Ambassador Kelly:  I am very grateful to the expressions of condolence that I have received from a number of Georgian officials and citizens.  I think that the answer to what happened yesterday [in Orlando] is again to construct as inclusive a society as possible, to make everyone feel that they are playing a significant role in society.  Of course we have to be vigilant about threats to our security, about threats to our citizens.  But what we’re trying to do in the United States is to try to build a tolerant society that is inclusive of all people.

Question about the decision to be announced today by the European Court of Human Rights concerning Georgia’s former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili

Ambassador Kelly:   This case of course was before I arrived here, I don’t know all the details of it.  But what I think is important is that there be a fair and objective legal process for everybody.  We of course will follow this case very closely.  I am pleased that Georgia has a number of appeals processes in place, both here in Georgia and in the multilateral context.  The important thing is that everybody gets a fair and objective legal process.