17 February 2019, 11:09

Political analysts point to dying conflict around monument to Avagyan in Georgia

After the protests, Georgian officials got convinced not to dismantle the monument to Mikhail Avagyan, a Karabakh War veteran, local politicians of Armenian origin have reported. The Georgian authorities will not let go of a conflict of the Armenian and Azerbaijani Diasporas, the political analysts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" believe.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on February 8, Azerbaijanis living in Georgia held a rally in Tbilisi demanding to dismantle the above monument, erected in the Georgian municipality of Akhalkalaki. They threatened not to stop protests until they achieve the goal.

As reported by Samvel Petrosyan, a former Georgian MP, now a member of the "Alliance of Georgia's Patriots", they managed to convince Georgian officials not to dismantle the monument. "Our argument was like this: well, let's dismantle it, but in this case, monuments to Azerbaijanis should also be dismantled. As a result, Georgian authorities agreed with our argument," Samvel Petrosyan told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

The conflict around the monument received no further development, Mamuka Areshidze, an expert on the Caucasus, stated to the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent. "Such confrontations must be extinguished in the bud, so that something worse doesn't happen, as this poses a threat to the country's statehood. Azeris failed to continue their protests; and this is an indication that there was an implicit interference by the authorities," he said.

"The hype around the monument was inflated by Azerbaijan," Johnny Melikyan, a political analyst and an expert on Georgia from the Centre for Regional Studies, has stated.

In his opinion, the Georgian authorities keep the situation under control and will not allow an ethnic conflict among the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities. "Even if the Karabakh conflict resumes, Georgia will do everything possible so that the conflict does not get into its territory, and to put Baku and Yerevan at the negotiating table," Mr Melikyan told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on February 16, 2019 at 04:00 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Tigran Petrosyan, Inna Kukudjanova; Source: CK correspondent

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