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Georgia will not yield David Gareja monastery to Azerbaijan – expert

Georgia will not yield David Gareja monastery to Azerbaijan – expertMay 19, 2012 | 01:23

Georgia will not yield the David Gareja monastery which is located on the Georgian – Azerbaijani border to Azerbaijan, President of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies, political scientist Alexander Rondeli told Armenian News-NEWS.am adding that another compromise solution will be found.

“There can be no issue of conflicts, skirmishes or war. This is a demarcation issue and it should be solved by commissions, historians and geographers, but not by military people. Each of the conflict parties claims it to be their territory and their historical heritage – this is what the whole fuss is about. But the conflict will not go farther than that, it will be settled,” Rondeli announced.

According to the political scientists, the parties will eventually come upon a compromise but the more publicity the issue gets the harder its settlement will be.

“The leaders of the two countries should put the process into the right direction, afterwards it will be taken over by the FMs, security services and other agencies of both countries,” he stressed.

Rondeli hesitated while trying to answer how exactly the Georgian – Azerbaijani disagreement is to be solved.

“There are several possibilities. None of the sides is going to yield David Gareja but it can be agreed upon exchanging territories, granting the monastery and the adjacent land a status of common use and so on. It must be taken into consideration that Georgia and Azerbaijan are strategic partners and together they have to face many challenges and solve conflicts. David Gareja is not the most important issue and everyone understands that,” Alexander Rondeli concluded.

As Armenian News-NEWS.am reported earlier, the ancient Georgian cultural and religious monastery is contentious and the Georgian-Azerbaijani border needs to be clarified. The monastery is divided between the two countries. Georgia proposed Azerbaijan to exchange other territory for the remainder of David Gareja because of its historical and cultural significance to Georgians. Baku disapproves of this land swap because of David Gareja’s strategic military importance.

A protest action regarding the monastery will take place in Tbilisi on Sunday.


News from Armenia - NEWS.am

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