The David Gareja monastery complex. Photo: Andrzej Wójtowicz

29 May 2019, 10:54

Georgian priests call for dialogue on David Gareja complex

Residents of Georgia, who took part in a rally at the David Gareja monastery complex, walked about two kilometers along a mountain trail from the Chichkhituri monastery to the Ascension Church on the border with Azerbaijan. Activists claimed encroachments on the Georgian shrine, but the priests urged them to refrain from emotional speeches.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on May 27, Azerbaijani activists announced holding a motor rally on the territory of the David Gareja monastery complex. In response, on May 28, several hundreds of Georgian residents held a march with the demand of open negotiations on the issue of border demarcation with Azerbaijan in the territory of the monastery complex.

Residents of Georgia organized the rally at the David Gareja complex in disagreement with the celebration of the Azerbaijan's Independence Day on its territory, reported Lasha Chkhartishvili, one of the leaders of the Georgian Labour Party.

The construction of the road near the David Gareja monastery complex heightened the tension on the border between Azerbaijan and Georgia.

"Our goal is to protect the David Gareja monastery complex, the cultural and spiritual heritage of Georgia. Today, Azerbaijanis intended to come here with their flags ... We, Georgians, are the guardians of this Christian monument," stated blogger Alexander Palavanishvili.

"I came here because it is Georgia. We should protect the Georgian territory," said artist Yoseb Kubenidze.

"We are to maintain absolute calm, since it is a guarantee of victory," said Archpriest Moisei Chelidze.

"We are Caucasian peoples, and we would like this problem to be resolved fairly, in a Caucasian way," added Jakob Yakobashvili, Bishop of Bodbe.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on May 29, 2019 at 03:49 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Beslan Kmuzov; Source: CK correspondent

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