On March 22, 2021, Nino Lomjaria, Public Defender of Georgia, met with Kelly Degnan, Ambassador of the United States of America to Georgia.
The topic of discussion was the situation of human rights in Georgia. The Public Defender also spoke about the challenges faced by the Office, especailly in recent months, and the obstacles that hinder the full implementation of the Public Defender's mandate, for example when paying visits to semi-open prisons.
"Another visit paid by the US Ambassador to the Public Defender’s Office once again confirms the support that has been constantly expressed by the US Government to our Office," Nino Lomjaria said.
“It was a very informative meeting. It's important to have conversations with the Public Defender and find out what they are working on. It is an essential part of a strong democracy to have a Public Defender's Office that is defending the human rights of all the people of Georgia, working to keep transparency and accountability and democracy strong. I was very sorry to hear that there have been some attacks against the Public Defender's Office. That kind of hate speech is a toxic language, especially against an office that is serving the public in such an important way.
The Public Defender's Office also plays such an important role in keeping public officials accountable, something that Georgia needs to do more; more accountability, more transparency and less hate speech and vicious attacks against others“, the US Ambassador said after the meeting.
Public Defender of Georgia
Perfect Opportunity to Reaffirm U.S. Government Support for Anaklia Port Project
TBILISI, GEORGIA, 13 November 2020 – The Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC) today issued the following statement in advance of the 17-18 November visit to Georgia by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo:
“The Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC) and its investors welcome the visit of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Georgia, and expect Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador Degnan will express to the Georgian Government their continued support for a port project at Anaklia.”
“It was just last year (11 June 2019) that Secretary Pompeo offered a strong endorsement of support for the Anaklia Project following his meeting with then-Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, when he told the press:
“I communicated our hope that Georgia completes the (Anaklia) port project. The project and others will enhance Georgia’s relationship with free economies and prevent Georgia from falling prey to Russian or Chinese economic influence. Those pretend friends do not have Georgia’s best interests at heart.”
“The timing and purpose of Secretary Pompeo’s visit invites an examination of the Georgian Government’s purported commitment to seeing through the development of a world-class port at Anaklia. While this commitment was expressed directly to both Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador Degnan, recent developments show that the Georgian Government’s commitment to Anaklia was a hollow one.
“The Georgian Government’s duplicitous and unlawful actions in relation to the Anaklia project has caused considerable financial losses for its U.S., European and Georgian investors and unfortunately now led to international arbitration proceedings being commenced against Georgia, which create a considerable financial risk for the state and will serve to discourage foreign investment in Georgia at a time when Georgia most needs it.
“Beyond the Anaklia project, the actions of the current Government over the past year certainly raise questions about its commitment to implementing meaningful judicial and governance reforms, which are important for increasing foreign investment and strengthening the Georgian economy.
“We wish Secretary Pompeo all success during his visit to Georgia and his meetings with the Government.”
Further details of the Anaklia Port project and ADC can be found at http://anakliadevelopment.com
Prior to the official opening of Noble Partner 2020, U.S. Army Europe and U.S. Air Forces Europe conducted Joint Forcible Entry (JFE) – airborne operation at Vaziani air field. Defense Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili, Chief of Defense Forces, Major General Giorgi Matiashvili and Commander of NATO Allied Land Command, Lieutenant General Roger L. Cloutier, U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Kelly C. Degnan and Defense Attaché Colonel Stephanie Bagley, as well Ex-Director Colonel Roland Dzneladze and the representatives of Georgian Defense Forces observed a large-scale airdrop on the ground.
Once over the drop-zone approximately 2 company-size units from the 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade of U.S. Army Europe and U.S. Air Forces Europe conducted the large-scale JFE seize VTA’s airfield first time in the region.
After the airborne operation Defense Minister emphasized the Georgia-USA strategic relations, excellent partnership and the trust between the countries. “I would like to highlight the excellent partnership we have with our American partners, militaries and which has been tested for many years. The most important is a unique trust we have towards each other. This exercise is a demonstration of our relationship. The exercise aims to strengthen and intensify already existing strategic relation” – stated Irakli Garibashvili and outlined that this exercise gives a unique capabilities to Georgian soldiers to enhance interoperability and also one more demonstration that USA, NATO member countries support Georgia’s aspiration to Euro-Atlantic integration.
The airborne operation will consist of four C-130 Hercules aircrafts that depart from Mihail Kogălniceanu (MK) Airbase, Romania crossing the Black Sea with the destination of VTA. According to the scenario, the paratroopers will seize the airfield in order to allow for the multinational follow-on-forces to arrive and occupy the airfield.
Kelly Degnan, the U.S. Ambassador-designate to Georgia has presented copies of her credentials to the Georgian Foreign MinisterTuesday, 04 February 2020 15:27
Following the presentation ceremony, the parties discussed a broad spectrum of Georgia-U.S. strategic partnership. It was highlighted that cooperation between the two countries is at an all-time high. Disucssions focused on various priority areas of cooperation, including defence and security, trade and economy.
The Minister updated the Ambassador on the grave security and humanitarian situation in Georgia’s occupied territories. Conversations also included the importance of the international community’s support for ensuring the peaceful resolution of the Russia-Georgia conflict. While on the theme of the Geneva International Discussions, the parties highlighted that, while Georgia continues to exercise a constructive approach, the Russian Federation’s activities are far from aiming to achieve progress in this format.
The Parties also discussed issues relating to regional security, Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration process and its contribution towards ensuring global security.
The Ambassador reaffirmed the United States’ firm support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as for its Euro-Atlantic integration.
Kelly Degnan was sworn in as new U.S. Ambassador to Georgia at the U.S. Department of State.
David Hale, the United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs attended the oath-taking ceremony.
The White House presented the candidacy of Kelly Degnan for post of U.S. Ambassador to Georgia in September of 2019. The Senate approved Degnan’s candidacy in December.
Degnan previously served as a political adviser to the commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa. A native of California, Degnan’s career has spanned 25 years and has included senior diplomatic postings to Italy, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Turkey.
Degnan also served as the deputy executive secretary of the State Department, political counsellor at the U.S. mission to NATO, and special assistant to the secretary of state. Degnan speaks Italian, French, Turkish, and Urdu.
Elizabeth Rood has served as acting ambassador to Georgia since Ambassador Ian Kelly departed in March 2018.