Kabul Company Deployment Ceremony (September 26)
On September 26th, Ambassador Kelly delivered remarks to the soldiers of the 32nd Battalion and to the Marines and Sailors of the Georgia Liaison Team prior to their deployment to Afghanistan in support of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission. Since 2009, U.S. and Georgian Armed Forces have developed a close and strong relationship – one based on shared values, shared interests, and shared sacrifice. This deployment represents the 18th battalion that Georgia has trained and deployed to Afghanistan since 2009. The United States is deeply grateful for Georgia’s sustained support for this mission.
Ambassador Ian Kelly’s comments to the media made at the 52nd Battalion and Kabul Company Deployment Ceremony for the deployment to Afghanistan in Support of Resolute Support Mission (RSM)
Q-n about the deployment ceremony to Afghanistan
Ambassador Kelly: I am very proud of what Georgia is doing; but I am never more proud than during the ceremonies where I see U.S. Marines and Georgian soldiers side-by-side. It is just really symbolic of the very close friendship that we have with Georgia and it is just really extraordinary what these young men and women have accomplished over the last few months and we wish them a very safe tour in Afghanistan and a safe return home to their families.
Q-n about the pre-election environment in Georgia
Ambassador Kelly: Well, as I said last week, this pre-election atmosphere, I think, has been very calm. I think, it has given us quite a bit of optimism that these elections, in less than two weeks, will be free and fair and will be genuinely reflective of the will of the people. I think that is what we all want. We want the next parliament to be seen as entirely legitimate and answering the interests and the will of the Georgian people.