He started with this observation:
I am most happy to be here today to join in Freedom House's Open House. This is a welcome addition to the resources available to the community which is working to improve basic human rights here in Uzbekistan. The organisers are to be congratulated on the initiative, as are the US government for their assistance with finance.I hope that Craig enjoys a dram or two on his birthday today.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am a Scot, and proud of my race. Our national poet, Robert Burns, notes in his great poem "The De'il's awa' wi' the Exciseman" that "Whisky and Liberty gang the gither", which for those whose Scots is a wee bit rusty means "Whisky and Liberty go together". Well we all know how difficult it is to find real whisky in Tashkent. It does exist, but mostly on diplomatic premises. There is still a lot of wisdom in old Robert.
(I imagine that he'd have been fully familiar with this sort of thing during his former employment.)