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.
The Prime Minister of Georgia met with the US Ambassador to Georgian Ian Kelly and EU Ambassador Janos Herman. The sides discussed October Parliamentary elections and political processes. Ian Kelly and Janos Herman congratulated to Giorgi Kvirikashvili the election results. According to them, the election was well-organized, open and competitive.
As US Ambassador said, 2016 elections confirmed the loyalty of Georgia to democratic reforms. He hoped that the second round will held in peaceful political field.
OSCE/ODIHR researches have been also discussed. Giorgi Kvirikashvili thanked to them for a positive assessment of the elections. He highlighted the role and importante of EU and International Community.
US Ambassador in Georgia Ian Kelly expressed concern over the incident in Kortskheli. According to him, political violence is unacceptable in a democratic society. Ambassador is pleased that the government is going to a full investigation of the events that took place yesterday.
"This kind of violence must be stopped. In a democratic society, such events are not normal, especially in an election year, "- said the ambassador.
Reception was conducted at the residence of the US Ambassador. Ian Kelly hosted a dinner for the Prime Minister and the co-chairs of Geneva International Discussions visiting Georgia. The US Ambassador presented Giorgi Kvirikashvili - the alumni of the Illinois University with symbollic presents of respective higher education institution.
“It is necessary media to be available for all political forces and all political players to be created equal playing field,” -the US Ambassador to Georgia, Ian Kelly told reporters.
An American official talked about Maestro and said that US has been following the ongoing processes.
"We want Georgia to succeed as a democratic society. It is necessary the elections to be hold in free and fair environment. It is necessary media to be available for all political forces and all political players to be created equal playing field,”-US Ambassador said.
“Of course I cannot speak for NATO, I'm not the ambassador to NATO, but what I can say is that the United States is fully supportive of Georgia's aspirations to join NATO, that we believe firmly in the open door policy for NATO membership, and that Georgia has all the practical tools that it needs to become a member of NATO. Regarding what Georgia should be doing? They should continue doing what they are doing in terms of cooperation with NATO, particularly in terms of the Substantial Package of Cooperation that NATO offered in Wales.” - said Ambassador of USA to Georgia while answering on journalists questions.
The Ambassador was also asked about membership of Georgia to NATO.
“As I said, the U.S. believes that Georgia has all the practical tools that it needs to become a member of NATO. Of course, I think we probably should not go too far ahead in terms of what is going to happen in NATO today, but I think if Montenegro is offered a membership, I think what that does is it reinforces the idea that NATO remains open to enlargement, that it remains committed to the open door policy and as I say, I think that Georgia is already on track and we believe the same thing we believed in 2008 in Bucharest, that Georgia will become a member of NATO,” - Ian Kelly said.
The Public Defender of Georgia held an introductory meeting with United States Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly.
The Public Defender briefed the diplomat of the state of human rights in Georgia, reviewed the reforms carried out in the penitentiary system and the Prosecutor's Office aimed at increasing the efficiency of the agencies, as well as the challenges existed in these areas. Ucha Nanuashvili also talked about the implementation of the Law on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination.
The Public Defender focused on the appointment/promotion of judges and stressed the importance of the recommendations sent by the Public Defender’s Office to the High Council of Justice.
Other topics of the meeting were the state of minority rights, needs of conflict-affected population, necessity for creation of labor inspection and independent mechanism for investigation of facts of ill-treatment, Public Defender’s recommendations and new projects ongoing in the Public Defender's Office.
Ucha Nanuashvili also talked in detail about the creation of the Academy of Human Rights.
"The United States believes not only in the independence of the media but in the independence of the judiciary" - Ian KellyTuesday, 03 November 2015 13:40
Ambassador Kelly in response to a question on the Constitutional Court and Rustavi 2:
“Well, of course, the United States believes not only in the independence of the media but in the independence of the judiciary [as well]. So I will only speak in very general terms. I think that the ultimate goal here is to ensure that there is a transparent process here in the issue of Rustavi 2. And, I think that in this regard, in ensuring that there is a thorough appeal process, I think this is a very good thing.”
Georgian Vice Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili met U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly.
Talking points included the main priorities of the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership and prospects for further enhancement of co-operation. Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Ian Kelly, along the political and security issues, focused on particular importance of strengthening the relations between Georgia and the U.S. in the spheres of economy and trade, and discussed the visit of the Georgian Foreign Minister to the U.S. due to be held by the end of October.
Ian Kelly reaffirmed the United States’ unequivocal support for Georgia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, democratic reforms and the European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
Ambassador Kelly joined Defense Minister Khidasheli in welcoming home Georgian soldiers redeploying from Afghanistan in support of NATO's Resolute Support Mission. On behalf of the United States, Ambassador Kelly thanked the soldiers of Georgia’s 43rd battalion, as well as their commander Lieutenant Colonel Vitali Tskhadadze, for their selfless service in advancing international peace and security.
The Ambassador also paid special tribute to the heroism and sacrifice of the 43rd’s Private Vasili Kuljanishvili.