MFA Georgia’s Statement on Accident at Davit Gareji

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia has released statement regarding an incident that occurred between Georgian citizens and Azeri border guards in Keshikchidagh, part of the David Gareji Monastery Complex.

“On July 14 2019, an unfortunate incident occurred on the conditional border of Georgia and Azerbaijan, in the territory surrounding the David Gareji Monastery Complex. The confrontation occurred between local citizens and Azeri border guards.

"As a result of the immediate response of the relevant agency of Georgia, the situation was defused timely. An investigation has been launched.

"Such incidents are totally contrary to the spirit of strategic partnership between Azerbaijan and Georgia. Accordingly, we believe that meetings between experts’ groups and delimitation commissions should be resumed timely, for which the Georgian side expresses full readiness.

"Additionally, it is important that the public be maximally calm to avoid provocations. Civil groups supporting the work of delimitation commissions in a peaceful and relevant environment is the pre-condition for achieving success”, reads the statement released by MFA Georgia.

According to a statement released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, there was a "small incident" between locals and Azerbaijani border guards on the David-Gareji section, though the situation was defused timely and there was soon "calm on the ground."

On July 14, information was spread through social media that the situation was tense at David Gareji. Namely, public activists said that Azerbaijani border guards took icons from the Monastery and handed them to Georgian guards, signifying that the territory no longer belongs to the Georgian side. Locals then forced the Azerbaijani border guards from the territory. Now public activists claim that the situation is calm at David Gareji.

The situation at the Georgia-Azerbaijan border has been tense over the last several months amid negotiations between Georgia and Azerbaijan on the border, which has not been agreed upon since the collapse of Soviet Union in 1991.

Related Story: Azerbaijani State Border Service on Incident Between Georgians and Azeri Guards

By Ana Dumbadze 

16 July 2019 11:48