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Georgian and Azerbaijani FM to try to solve monastery dispute

by | May 18, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s foreign minister and his Azeri colleague have decided to find a solution to the situation at the Davit Gareja Monastery complex while the two meet at the NATO summit in Chicago May 20 and 21.

Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs writes this in a statement.

On May 6 witnesses noticed that Georgian citizens and tourists weren’t being allowed by Azeri border guards to visit Udabno Monastery, which is a part of the monastery complex.

Since Gareja is lies exactly on the border between Georgia and Azerbaijan and has been problematic for the two countries. Georgian officials say the delineation of the border has not yet been agreed on, which causes misunderstandings.

Witnesses also inform that Azerbaijan claims Udabno Monastery is an Albanian cultural monument, referring to Caucasian Albania, a kingdom which existed from the 4th century BC to the 8th century AD and covered what today is Azerbaijan.

The David Gareja monastery complex is located about 60-70 km to the southeast from Georgia’s capital Tbilisi. It is an official Georgian religious and cultural monument, consisting of a number of churches. The complex was established in the first half of the sixth century. Since October 24 2011, it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage tentative list as a historical-cultural monument.



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