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Obama Names New U.S. Ambassador to Georgia

President Barack Obama nominated career diplomat Ian C. Kelly as next U.S. ambassador to Georgia to replace Richard Norland, who has been serving in Tbilisi since September, 2012, the White House said on March 12.

Kelly, who has been in the foreign service for about 30 years, served as State Department spokesman in 2009-2010 and was U.S. ambassador to the OSCE in 2010-2013; he also served as a co-chair of the Minsk Group on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution in December, 2012-September, 2013.

His previous assignments, among others, also included director of office of Russian affairs at the Department of State in 2007-2009; public affairs adviser at the U.S. mission in NATO; press attaché at the U.S. embassies in Italy and Turkey.

As a director of Democratic Initiatives to the Newly Independent States at the State Department in 1994-1996, he was coordinating the activities of about dozen federal agencies involved in democracy programs in the former Soviet Union countries.

"I am pleased that the White House has nominated such an experienced and well-respected colleague to succeed me later this year here in Georgia," incumbent U.S. ambassador, Richard Norland, said in a statement. "In the months until my departure, it will continue to be my honor to do my best to advance U.S.-Georgia relations and promote democracy, security and prosperity in this remarkable, historic land."

[Source: Civil Georgia, Tbilisi, 13Mar15]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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