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Tbilisi taking faith away from Armenians2011-09-07 22:27
Armenia and Georgia's complicated relations have long gone beyond common politics. Distortion of historical facts and information about the autonomies in the Georgian territory, as well as the destruction of Armenian cultural monuments make it hard to come to an understanding even at the highest, spiritual level. Yerevan is often accused of unwillingness to find a compromise with Baku and Tbilisi. But how can you make a step towards somebody turning his back on you?
Yerevan is evidently not very lucky to have such neighbours. A diplomatic blockade with Turkey and Azerbaijan because of Nagorny Karabakh, as well as restriction of the economic cooperation between Armenia and Russia on the part of Georgia, which is craftily using its geographic position to advantage, makes Armenian government conduct a very prudent policy. After the Georgian Cabinet approved of transferring 100 percent of the Georgian Railways' stock to Parkfield Investment British Company for 89 years, it became clear that Mikhail Saakashvili's smiles addressed at Serge Sargsyan imply certain danger. The British investor plans to invest about one billion dollars in the project in the next ten years, while Azerbaijan has transferred 40 million dollars to Georgia for the
construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. Thus, the Georgian leader in every way encourages a union of Ankara and Baku.
Azerbaijan's excessive activity in the project that has been practically ruined since the times of the Soviet Union means that Baku will spare no money to have a reliable transportation channel with Turkey bypassing Armenia. What is Georgia's role here? Firstly, this is another chance to spite Russia, for Tbilisi is surely angry about Yerevan's pro-Russian position and a military base in Gumri. Secondly, the domestic situation in Javakh, which is running high, makes Saakashvili hastily look for a way out, though he is unable to invent anything but some unpopular decisions aimed to increase pressure upon the residents of the autonomy.
Professor at Sukhum State University Guram Markhulia, an adherent of the so called government-in-exile, volunteered to help Mikhail Nikolozovich in his "lofty goal". He became another link in the chain of Tbilisi's anti-Armenian policy. Not so long ago, Catholicos Garegin the Second paid a visit to Georgia and had to admit that the atmosphere of the Georgian Orthodox Church's intolerance to other confessions made him exceedingly sad. And what can be said about a "professor" if the limits of intolerance spread beyond political limits, getting to the level of religion?
By the way, he prefers to stick to the "heretic" position of the Georgian Orthodox Church. "There are no Armenian churches in Georgia and no Georgian will ever enter an Armenian church... Armenians never pray in churches; for them, it is a place to meet and discuss things", - this original statement belongs to Mr. Markhulia who gave an interview to an Azerbaijani media outlet. That is the way he commented upon the fact of vandalism in an Armenian monastery in Tbilisi, where two young drunk Georgians have recently profaned a church book lying on the altar.
Guram Markhulia seems to be unembarrassed by the fact that Armenian non-government organizations are trying to have the Georgian authorities hand over cultural architectural monuments, including churches, to the official Yerevan. Meanwhile, according to a reference map issued in 1995, there are about 50 Armenian temples in the Georgian territory, 26 of them being located in Tbilisi. But only two are functional; the rest have been turned to ruins or transformed into Georgian churches.