Georgian PM: Azerbaijan suspends construction of road near Gareji monastery to avoid tension

  • David Gareji is a sixth century monastery complex of 22 rock-hewn monasteries and more than 5,000 sanctuaries and cave-cells. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 26 May 2019 - 12:15, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze has stated that Azerbaijan has suspended the construction of a road near the David Gareji monastery complex in Georgia’s south-east, on the conditional border between Georgia and Azerbaijan ‘to avoid complications’ during the negotiations between the two countries to agree on the border.

Despite the fact Azerbaijan was constructing the road, actually, on its own controlled territory beyond the slope, the process has been suspended,” Bakhtadze said.

He stated that the decision came after the meeting of the Georgian-Azerbaijani commission working on the border issue in Baku this week.

The commission agreed that its members, together with experts, would see the construction areas and study existing maps and other documents to bring the negotiation process to an end in a timely manner.

David Gareji clerics stated earlier this week that Azerbaijan was constructing a road on the disputed territory and the road was 700 meters away from one of the monasteries of the complex.

In April, Azerbaijani borders guards did not allow visitors and clerics into the monastery. However, the problem was resolved shortly after negotiations.

Georgia has an agreed upon border only with Turkey. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Georgia has been trying to agree its borders with Armenia and Azerbaijan.