Georgian clerics in the 6th Century David Gareji monastery complex, which lies on the conditional border with Azerbaijan, have reported the construction of ‘two huge barracks by Azerbaijan right near the monastery complex.’
It is a sign that Azerbaijan has no plans to leave the territory of the monastery complex,” Archimandrite Kirion told local media.
He stated that the number of Azerbaijani border guards has been increased to 70-80 since the beginning of the year and when the barracks are completed the number “is likely to reach 300.”
Kirion says that Azerbaijan has provided electricity “from an 18 kilometer distance [for the barracks], and made an inscription on the rock of the Udabno Monastery that ‘death for the homeland is a big honor.”
The Georgian Foreign Ministry has stated many times that negotiations are underway with Azerbaijan to settle the border issue. Photo: Foreign Ministry press office.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry and the church have urged clerics and the public to refrain from making statements which might harm the negotiation process between Georgia and Azerbaijan, as the border between the two countries has not been agreed upon since the collapse of the Soviet Union back in 1991.
The situation has become tense several times at the site over the past several months, and was deescalated after the involvement of state officials from both countries.
David Gareji is a complex of 22 rock-hewn monasteries and more than 5,000 cells and cave-cells, located in Georgia’s south-east.