On April 18, Ambassador Norland attended the opening of the two-day Batumi International Forum: Religion and Peace hosted by the Georgian Muslims Union, First Step Forum, and the Oslo Centre for Peace and Human Rights. The goal of the conference is to promote peace through the deepening of interfaith relations. During his remarks, Ambassador Norland highlighted Georgia’s long history of interfaith respect and tolerance as one of its greatest strengths, and noted the importance of continuing this tradition. He stressed the importance of maintaining this tradition to the country’s ongoing democratization and ensuring citizens are able to practice freely the religion of their choice.
Ambassador’s answer to media’s question about Georgian families readiness to provide homes to the Assyrian kids, on sidelines of the Batumi International Forum Religion and Peace
“I think it’s wonderful that Georgian families are reaching out to support people at a time of great human trouble , human tragedy and I hope that refugees can find the home in Georgia . We have to remember that not just that Syrian but refugees and people of all different religions and ethnicities are being persecuted in the terrible dramas and tragedies that are unfolding now in Syria , Iraq and elsewhere . I think we all as an international community have responsibilities to help these people during their time of difficulty. And then also to help stabilize these situations and enable them to go back to their homes. “