Ambassador of the United States of America to Georgia Visited the Occupation Line

Kelly C. Degnan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Georgia and Alexander Khojevanishvili, the Deputy Head of State Security Service of Georgia visited village Odzisi of Dusheti municipality at the occupation line.

Representatives of the State Security Service provided Kelly C. Degnan with comprehensive information on every challenge and threat emanating from the occupied Tskhinvali region. The problems that the local residents encounter on everyday basis due to barbed-wires, fences and other artificial barriers were emphasized.

“State Security Service of Georgia provided the Ambassador of the United States of America to Georgia  with exhaustive information on the current situation in the occupied regions and along the occupation line. We have comprehensive discussion on the matter of illegal borderization, discussed  the fate and problems of people, who face problems daily due to occupation, occupation line and barbed-wires. In view of this, we think that today’s visit, the visit of such high-ranking guests in the region is very important so that they are able to see for themselves and evaluate problems, threats and challenges, emanating from the occupied regions”- Alexander Khojevanishvili, Deputy Head of the State Security Service stated.

„This is my first opportunity to come up to the occupation line and I really appreciate the chance to see this very important region of Georgia. Have to say, seeing it  myself, I see even more of a tragedy separating people who used to live together in this beautiful villages. It’s really heartbreaking. Obviously, the United States strongly supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and when I see what is being built on the other side of this occupation line,it makes me even more convinced, that Russia needs to fulfill it’s obligations under 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and  withdraw its forces, and comply with its obligations under the Agreement it had signed and it had agreed to. I think the recent borderization issues are very concerning. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to come up here and see for myself what’s going on. Especially in a time of COVID, when we need to be working together to save lives, having these additional threats through  borderization, it is just inhuman. My understanding is since the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) was closed in September, at least 13 “South Ossetians” have died, who could have been saved had they been able to come and get healthcare  and medical services here, in Tbilisi -controlled territory. It’s really heartbreaking to see this kind of political-militarised situation. I’m also very concerned at some of disinformation that I’m reading. I think hackers and irresponsible people in Russia and other places attacking Georgia and the Lugar Lab when in the middle of controlling pandemic, that the  whole world is struggling with. Everybody has seen at the Lugar Lab, which is controlled by the Georgians and run by Georgian public health experts has done a remarkable job with diagnostic testing, with providing accurate medical advice to the Government and to the public so that the Georgian people have been able to contain this virus in a very responsible way. So, attacks against the Lugar are simply not true and really irresponsible. I’m so sorry whenever I see that”- Stated Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Georgia Kelly C. Degnan.