Georgian patriarchate cites ‘positive steps’ in Georgia-Azerbaijan negotiations on Gareji monastery

The Georgian patriarchate urged clerics and public to refrain from making statements which may harm Georgian-Azerbaijani negotiations on the David Gareji monastery. Photo: Patriarchate press office., 03 May 2019 - 11:54, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Patriarchate has stated that positive steps have also been taken during the “active negotiations” of Georgia and Azerbaijan regarding Georgia’s 6th century monastery complex David Gareji located at the conditional border between the two countries.

The patriarchate condemned the attitudes of statements which could harm Georgian-Azerbaijani “friendly ties”.

We are against any attempt which may harm the friendly relations of Georgia and Azerbaijan or may insult the Muslim religion,” the patriarchate said, adding that such statements made deliberately of impulsively might be tension-provoking.

"The demarcation of the border will remove such artificial tension,” the Georgian president’s administration stated at the end of April. Photo: 

The patriarchate said that David Gareji is one of the most important holy sites of Georgia and that they will do their utmost for its protection.

Azerbaijani border guards allowed clerics and visitors to enter the medieval Georgian monastery David Gareji on April 25, after a three-day closure.

The site is located at the conditional border with Azerbaijan.

Georgia has demarcated the border only with Turkey after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The borders with Azerbaijan and Armenia need to be agreed upon still.

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani has stated today that the Georgia-Azerbaijan joint commission will continues works soon, which is tasked to agree the border.

He said that the issue is “sensitive” and it will be settled in a peaceful and a friendly environment.

David Gareji is a complex of 22 rock-hewn monasteries and more than 5,000 sanctuaries and cave-cells, located in Georgia’s south-east.