Two months after Georgian and Azerbaijani leaders reached an agreement, according to which the churches of David Gareji Monastery Complex located on the disputed section of the Georgian-Azerbaijani state border would reopen for Georgian clergy, the Georgian Orthodox Church expressed regret on December 9 that the issue of Udabno and Chichkhituri churches “remains unresolved.”
“We are looking forward to moving the problem to legal framework and restoration of the status quo existing prior to July 15, 2019,” the statement released by the Georgian Orthodox Church reads.
“We hope that a good neighborly tradition between our nations will yield positive results and peace will have no alternative,” the statement noted.
The Georgian Orthodox Church denied assumptions that emerged in various political or public groups, according to which the disputable border issue will be solved through granting a special status, such as a protected area, to David Gareji Monastery Complex.
“Such model might be perceived positively only in case of historical, cultural, legal and cartographic obscurity regarding the issue of territorial claims between the states. As for the Udabno and Chichkhituri churches, no problems have been revealed in any of the above mentioned categories,” the Georgian Orthodox Church noted.
It supposes that by making such proposal, “we cast doubt over the fact that this territory belongs to Georgia” and therefore “the Georgian church cannot support this initiative.”
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