Tbilisi, Nor-Echmiadzin Church. Photo: Serouij, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Grounds_of_the_Ejmiatsin_Armenian_Church,_Tbilisi. JPG, Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

29 July 2014, 22:14

Conflict in Armenian Church in Tbilisi not to spoil Armenian-Georgian relations, experts hope

The attack on the believers of the Armenian Echmiadzin Church committed on July 19 in Tbilisi, will not affect the inter-state and inter-church relations of Armenia and Georgia, said participants of the videoconference held with participation of Georgian and Armenian experts. The incident with the believers was deliberately given the interethnic colouring, said Johnny Melikyan, the head of the Centre for Political and Legal Studies and an expert on domestic and foreign policy of Georgia.

The Georgian Eparchy of the Armenian Orthodox Church has characterized the incident as a manifestation of hatred based on religious and ethnic grounds. Under the version of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), the conflict was of the everyday nature.

The incident in Tbilisi burst out "on the basis of petty misunderstanding and subsequently acquired the interethnic colouring," said Melikyan. Along with that, he noted that some political forces in Georgia are trying to use "the anti-Armenian sentiments" for their own purposes.

The incident near the Armenian Church was not a pre-planned action, said Sergey Minasyan, a political scientist and the deputy director of the Institute of the Caucasus. According to his story, the event gained its interethnic nature "in subsequent interpretations."

A conflict that burst out on the everyday level then "acquired an unacceptable character," said Giorgi Gvimradze, an expert of the Georgia Centre for Strategic Studies.

Author: Armine Martirosyan; Source: CK correspondent

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