On August 24, Charge d’Affaires Nicholas Berliner participated in the graduation ceremony of the latest class of public health experts from Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan to complete a two-year training program designed to help their respective countries’ public health agencies better detect and respond to animal and human disease outbreaks. Since 2009, 115 public health experts from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan have completed the training. The U.S. government spends approximately $ 4 million annually to provide the training, which Georgia hosts.
Comments to the Press after the Event
Q-n taken about the U.S. position on the developments around Rustavi-2
A: CDA Berliner: The statement that I made last week on Rustavi-2, I think, should not come as any surprise to anybody. The U.S. positions on questions of media freedom, I think, are well-known and in this case we simply urge caution and we expect that whatever judicial processes are underway will be conducted to the absolute highest standards and always keeping in mind the essential part of a free press in a democracy.
(Follow up q-n) if it was the Chargé’s personal opinion or the opinion of the USG
A: CDA Berliner: This can be taken as the expression of views of the U.S. Government and the U.S. Embassy
Q-n about importance of the NATO training center opening in Georgia for U.S – Georgia relations
A: CDA Berliner: We think that the opening of the NATO training center is a very important step; and again it’s an indication of the close relations and operations that exist between Georgia and NATO. It’s well- known to everybody that Georgia has played a very, very important role in NATO and NATO’s operations in Afghanistan. After the United States, currently, it’s the second largest contributor to NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. So, this [training center] coming from the Wales summit last year is just another sign of the further building of these relations.