The Georgian Orthodox Church Metropolitan (bishop) Nikoloz (Pachuashvili) of Akhalkalaki, Kumurdo and Kars, reacted to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict escalation stating that Georgians “should do everything for peaceful resolution”.
“In my eparchy, [ethnic] Armenians constitute an overwhelming majority, more than 97%. I live among Armenians, communicate with them, care for them, love them. For this reason, the developments in Karabakh cause me great pain,” stated the senior cleric in his public announcement of October 5.
The bishop also said there has never been a conflict between Azerbaijanis and Armenians in Georgia. “Neither I, personally, nor Georgians and the Georgian state have the right to take sides[in this conflict],” noted the cleric.
The bishop urged each side of the conflict to “find common language” and to cease fire. “I deeply hope that both Armenians and Azerbaijanis will be able to rise above themselves,” concluded Metropolitan Nikoloz.
Clashes erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan again in Nagorno-Karabakh on September 27, with Yerevan and Baku trading accusations over the outbreak of current hostilities. Georgia has repeatedly called for peaceful resolution of the conflict.