Under Secretary Zeya’s Travel to Georgia and Armenia

The U.S. Department of State has announced that Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, Uzra Zeya, will be traveling to Tbilisi, Georgia, and Yerevan, Armenia from July 9-17, 2024. This trip aims to address critical issues such as democratic governance, anti-corruption, media freedom, freedom of expression, and the inclusion of marginalized and vulnerable groups.

Engagement in Georgia

During her visit to Georgia, Under Secretary Zeya will meet with representatives from the government, civil society, media, and parliament. The focus will be on expressing the U.S.’s serious concerns regarding recent legislative developments, particularly the ‘foreign influence’ law, which threatens Georgia’s path towards Euro-Atlantic integration. According to the press release, “She will make clear that the government’s undemocratic behavior and disinformation about the United States has damaged our long-standing relationship.”

Under Secretary Zeya’s agenda in Georgia also includes emphasizing the U.S.’s unwavering support for the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as highlighting the importance of free and fair elections and a vibrant civil society. She will also stress the need for respecting fundamental freedoms and protecting the rights of marginalized groups. In addition, she will visit a community organization founded and led by women displaced by Russia’s continued occupation of Georgia.

Discussions in Armenia

In Armenia, Under Secretary Zeya will engage with senior government officials and civil society representatives to strengthen the U.S.-Armenia partnership and advance Armenia’s democratic reforms in areas such as rule of law, anti-corruption, and judicial reform. She will also pay respects at the Armenian Genocide Memorial, honoring the victims of the 1915 genocide.

The press release highlights that Under Secretary Zeya will “engage UN and other international bodies in Armenia supporting members of vulnerable and marginalized groups.” Moreover, her visit will include a trip to the Haghpat Monastery to promote religious freedom and support cultural preservation.

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