US nominee for ambassador: Georgia ‘dedicated partner’ for US, NATO

United States President Donald Trump introduced Californian Kelly Degnan for the role of the new US ambassador to Georgia in early September. Photo: Shot from Senate hearing, 30 Oct 2019 - 00:28, Tbilisi,Georgia

The United States President Donald Trump’s nominee for Ambassador to Georgia Kelly C. Degnan said if confirmed, she would “build on the productive partnership” that US and Georgia have developed so far. 

Degnan gave testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on October 29, saying although she has not yet had a chance to visit Georgia, “the issues Georgia faces are not new” to her. 

I was serving in Turkey when Russia invaded Georgia in August 2008. A year later, I served at NATO, where Georgia was, and is, a valued partner”, Degnan said, noting that “Allies reaffirmed just last year NATO’s 2008 pledge that Georgia will become a member of NATO”. 

During my three years at NATO, I was very impressed by Georgia’s commitment to reforming and strengthening its institutions and military”, she added.

Hailing Georgia’s contribution to the international mission in Afghanistan, Degnan said that as Foreign Policy Advisor to US Naval Forces Europe, she has seen “Georgia’s value as a capable, dedicated partner supporting US and NATO efforts in the Black Sea”.

Photo: Nino Alavidze/

Our outstanding security cooperation underscores the fact that Georgia is a key partner, in a geostrategic region of vital importance to the United States”, Degnan said in her speech.

We will continue our steadfast support of Georgia as it seeks NATO membership and economic integration with the EU and the West”, she added.

The US nominee for Ambassador also underscored that “our work together is aimed at strengthening Georgia’s capacity to defend its borders, while it builds a prosperous, integrated, democratic society”.

Degnan furter said that the US “will continue to be a vocal advocate of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders”.

Photo: Nino Alavidze/

She said the US “strongly condemns the ongoing occupation” of Georgia’s Russia occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) and Russia’s attempts of “borderisation” at the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL). 

The solution to this conflict, which was created by Russian aggression, is for Russia to fulfill all of its obligations under the 2008 ceasefire agreement, including withdrawing its forces to pre-conflict positions, allowing humanitarian access, and reversing its recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia”, Degnan stated.

President Trump introduced Californian Kelly Degnan for the role of the new US ambassador to Georgia in early September. The post has been vacant since March 2018 when the former US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly retired after his 33-year career.