New United States Ambassador Kelly Degnan, who arrived to Georgia on January 29, presented her credentials to Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani and President Salome Zurabishvili, officially assuming her duties as the Chief of Mission of the U.S. to Georgia on January 31.
In her remarks following the meeting with FM Zalkaliani, Ambassador Degnan said the U.S. is “looking forward to helping Georgia continue its efforts to integrate with the West, to try and combat some of the destabilizing activities of Russia in trying to upset the progress that Georgia has made through such hard work over the years, and of course to strengthen Georgia’s relationship with the United States.”
- U.S. Ambassador Degnan’s Comments on Arrival to Georgia
- New U.S. Ambassador Degnan Arrives to Georgia
On his part, Minister Zalkaliani said he had “an excellent meeting” with Kelly Degnan. “The U.S. is a stalwart supporter of Georgia’s territorial integrity and remains fully committed to its Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Looking forward to working closely with the new U.S. Ambassador to upgrade our partnership to a new level,” he tweeted.
Following the meeting with the Georgian President, Ambassador Degnan noted that the two “had a lovely discussion about many of the concerns that we are working on together.”
Degnan said that she is looking forward to working with the President, the Georgian Government, and the Georgian people “on number of our important priorities,” including helping the country with its integration with the West, strengthening the U.S.-Georgia partnership, as well as “combatting, wherever we can, efforts to undermine the progress that Georgia has made, by Russia and other maline actors.”
Delighted to welcome US Ambassador Kelly Degnan to #Georgia. We had a substantive discussion about the strong US-Georgia strategic partnership focused on defense, security & economic cooperation. We also touched on the importance of education reform and US support in this sector. pic.twitter.com/E1XJoIwG1e
— Giorgi Gakharia (@GakhariaGiorgi) January 31, 2020
Later on January 31, the new U.S. Ambassador also held “a very substantive conversation” with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, discussing among others, security cooperation as well as opportunities to increase U.S.-Georgia economic ties.
“Of course, we talked about continuing democratization of Georgia, and this being an important election year both here in Georgia, and of course in the U.S. as well,” Kelly Degnan said, adding that she is “looking forward to working with the Government of Georgia and the people of Georgia, and civil society on the democratic process here.”