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Ambassador confident “Georgia’s future is in good hands”

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, October 16
US Ambassador Richard Norland said Georgia is lucky to have two patriots of this calibre – leaders who love their country so much that they are determined to move beyond the deeply felt differences of the political campaign to advance Georgia’s interests as a nation. According to him, “Georgia’s future is in good hands.” He made this statement at an Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum yesterday.

Addressing civil society, Ambassador Norland stated that civil society representatives played “a vital role” in the events that have occurred recently in Georgia. The ambassador highlighted that civil society will continue their activities in all areas and they will remain principled and express their concern about all occurring flaws in the country.

“Civil society, whose representatives are gathered here today, played a vital role in these events, and in doing so you acquired enhanced moral authority and credibility. For it was your advocacy for electoral reform, your push for greater transparency and media access, your ongoing concern for human rights in the prison system and elsewhere – in all these areas you stood up for principles, for transparency, and for justice. And it is a tribute to Georgia’s increasingly tolerant and progressive political culture that you were able to play this role,” Ambassador Norland said, adding that civil society serves not only as a check and balance, but also as a vital partner in the quest for a positive relationship between the democratic state and its citizens.

In his speech, the US Ambassador appealed to all NGO representatives to maintain their neutrality and independence. According to Norland, civil society representatives should be open to constructive communication with political parties and the state, even as they retain their intellectual objectivity. At the same time, he emphasized that government should actively collaborate with civil society and consultations and dialogue should have a regular face.