U.S. Embassy Hosts Drug Enforcement Administration’s Regional Targeting Meeting; DEA Office to Open in 2016 (January 25)

BATUMI –The U.S. Embassy’s Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) will host the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Regional Targeting Meeting from Wednesday, January 27 until January 28, 2016 in Batumi.  Deputy Chief of Mission Nicholas Berliner, Minister Mghebrishvili and DEA Regional Director Kyle Williamson will open the event.

The Batumi Regional Targeting meeting will bring together more than 150 senior narcotics investigators and analysts from nearly 30 countries in the Middle East and Europe. The objective of the meeting is to share investigative data related to past and ongoing narcotics cases and seizures which directly affect the entire Middle East and Europe.  In addition, briefings will be conducted regarding the recent spate of methamphetamine and cocaine seizures in the Middle East region, and other emerging trends concerning heroin and synthetic drugs.

One of the U.S. Government’s top foreign assistance priorities in Georgia is to support the development of the country’s law enforcement capacity, to include its investigative capabilities and its efforts to boost regional and global law enforcement cooperation.  Georgia sits at the crossroads of trade in the region, making its achievements in interdicting narcotics transiting its borders essential to the larger effort to dismantle international trafficking organizations.  INL, working with the Drug Enforcement Administration and other partners, has provided a robust training program for Georgia’s counternarcotics investigators and analysts since 2009.

In another symbol of the United States’ ongoing support for Georgia’s law enforcement and counternarcotics efforts, the Drug Enforcement Administration will open a new Caucasus office at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia in the summer of 2016.  This office will focus on deepening the already strong operational partnership that exists between U.S. and Georgian law enforcement agencies.