Georgian FM at religious ministerial in US: Russia harshly violates religious rights in our occupied regions

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani has urged the international community from Washington to once again condemn Russia’s actions in Georgia. Photo: Foreign Ministry press office., 19 Jul 2019 - 12:30, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkalinai says that Georgia is proud of its centuries-long tolerance to various religious minorities living in the country, stating that Russia harshly violates religious rights and freedom of the Georgian citizens living in the currently occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) regions.

Staring in 2008, after the regions were occupied by Russia, the regions have turned into so-called black holes. Religious rights of Georgian citizens there, as well as clerics, have been severely violated. They are unable to carry out religious rituals and conduct services. People are not allowed to visit the graves of their ancestors   due to the barbed-wire-fences illegally erected by occupying forces,” Zalkaliani said at the 2019 Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, held in Washington yesterday.

He said that Georgia is taking “unilateral” steps to peacefully resolve the conflict.

US State Secretary Mike Pompeo attended FMs at the event.