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What Daivd Bakradze and Ovik Abramyan omitted2009-02-27 10:09
The trip of the Chairman of the Georgian parliament David Bakradze to Erevan ended badly for him. A few public organizations came forward with the protest action against prosecution of Armenian activists in Javakheti region of Georgia.
Following David Bakradze's meeting with his Armenian colleague Ovik Abramyan both made friendly statements expressing hope for fruitful collaboration in the future. Bakradze emphasized how the Armenian investments and tourists were important for Ajaria. Abramyan called attention to Armenia's neutrality on South Ossetian - Abkhazian conflict settlement and stated he was expecting equally measured position of Georgia on Karabakh issue. The Speaker of Armenian parliament also touched on the problem of churches belonging to the Armenian Apostolic Church operating in Georgia. Bakradze promised that Georgia's authorities would do their best to solve the problem. "There are no insoluble problems in Armenian-Georgian relations", - the Georgian guest was quoted by
It looks like David Bakradze managed to persuade Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II of that. After their meeting the press chancellery of the Catholicos stated: "His Holiness was pleased to remark that the relations between the countries are warm and friendly expressing hope that the existing problems will be solved in the atmosphere of brotherly love and mutual understanding". As is known the Georgian Orthodox church has claims to a number of Armenian churches which has already led to several notorious incidents.
However one vital issue of the Georgian-Armenian relations was not publicly raised by David Bakradze and Ovik Abramyan in anticipation of an authorized protest action at the Georgian Embassy in Erevan planned and organized by over 20 public organizations today. The protesters put forward a number of demands with the release of activists detained in Armenian Samtskhe-Javakheti district being the main issue.
Earlier representatives of Mitk, Javakh national union, Erkir union and other organizations accused Georgia of "demographic terrorism". According to them the arrests, violations of legal proceedings, difficulties in crossing the Georgian-Armenian border impose "the atmosphere of fear and despair among local Armenians making more Armenians emigrate from the region". This statement was connected with the recent visit of Georgia's Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze to Armenia. Georgian Foreign Ministry called these accusations a provocation. Vashadze himself stated at the final press conference that in Samtskhe-Javakheti there were no problems other than social and economic ones.