Georgian side denies accusations against the Azeri border guards
16 July, 2019
Georgian side denies accusations against the Azeri border guards
Georgian citizens provoked an incident against Shamkir border group of Border Troops of the State Border Service of Azerbaijan (SBS) in their service territory at about 02:50 p.m on July 15, the Azerbaijani media has reported citing the State Border Service of Azerbaijan.

“The incident was immediately eliminated by taking urgent measures within a very short period of time. Security measures were provided by the personal staff of SBS in the area,” the SBS said.

According to the Azeri media, border
representatives of Azerbaijan and Georgia held a meeting, the incident was jointly investigated, and the “necessary measures were discussed to prevent analogical incidents in the future.”

Georgian ambassador summoned to Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan summoned Georgian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Zurab Pataradze on July 15 over an incident at Davit Gareji monastery complex, the Azerbaijani media has reported.

“Unfortunately, such actions run contrary to the spirit of the strategic partnership between Azerbaijan and Georgia, and we regard this incident as a provocation aimed at the confrontation between the two countries,” the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

“We required the Georgian side to investigate the incident, take appropriate measures and inform the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry about the work done,” the statement reads.

Deputy Head of Georgian Border Police says Azerbaijani border guards took icons from monastery to protect them from being damaged

According to the Deputy Head of the Georgian Border Police, Teimuraz Kupatadze, the Azerbaijani side took the icons from monastic cells to protect them from being damaged.

As Kupatadze told journalists after the meeting between Georgian and Azerbaijani sides in Davit Gareji, according to the Azeri side, they took the icons from the monastic cells in order to protect them from being damaged and not because there was not their place in the monastery.

"They clarified that if the weather was worsened, in case of wind or rain, the icons would be damaged and they took the icons to the Church of the Resurrection and handed them over to our border guards to avoid accusations,” the Deputy Head of the Georgian Border Police said.

Teimuraz Kupatadze denies information that the Azeri border guards use the monastic cells in the territory of Davit Gareji monastery as a toilet.

As Kupatadze told journalists after the meeting between the Georgian and Azerbaijani sides in Davit Gareji, pilgrim tourists drop papers and rubbish in the monastic cells.

The Deputy Head of the Border Police said that the territory was cleaned by the Azerbaijanians and they promised the Georgian side that the Azeri border guards would not walk on the territory of the monastic cells.

Related stories:

Anti-occupation movement "Force is in Unity" patrolling in Davit Gareji

Davit Gareja Caves listed among World's 17 Most Wild and Beautiful Places by National Geographic

Davit Gareja depicted on Guillaume Delisle’s map back in 1723

Demonstration is underway in Davit Gareji - dispute over the site goes on
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