( OSCE ) - The OSCE training Centre in Omalo, in Georgia's Tusheti region, together with IT and communications equipment were handed over to the country's border police at a ceremony in 22 June.
"We're pleased to donate the Centre to the Georgian Border Police. Our co-operation has always been fruitful, and the close ties have contributed to building the capacity of the border police officers which in turn helped strengthen border management," said Ambassador Roy Reeve, the Head of the OSCE Mission, who took part in the ceremony together with the Head of the Georgian Border Police, Badri Bitsadze.
"We intend to continue our close co-operation with the Border Police and stand ready to support them," added Ambassador Reeve.
The donation was part of the OSCE Mission to Georgia's capacity-building programme which successfully completed this month. During this, and the previous training assistance programme which began in 2005, over 1,100 Georgian Border Police officers were trained, offering course on training of trainers, operational planning, helicopter and mountain search and rescue, avalanche rescue, survival, patrolling, radio communication, day and night observation, map reading, land navigation, maintenance of special equipment and first aid.
Lieutenant General Badri Bitsadze, who is also Deputy Interior Minister, added: "Today we have another vivid example of the close co-operation between the Georgian Border Police and the OSCE Mission. Besides training assistance, the OSCE has helped improve the infrastructure of the Border Police. We hope to continue the effective co-operation with the OSCE Mission."
The Omalo Centre was constructed as a base for the OSCE's Border Monitoring Operation which ended in 2004. It is located on a plateau close to the current Georgian Border Police Facility. The building is adapted to cope with the harsh weather conditions in the Caucasus Mountains.