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Man does not live by treaty alone21.10.2009 | 09:41
Georgian patriarch Ilia II revived the 1790 Treaty on Unity of the Iberians. The natives of Georgia (Iveria, or Iberia in the old times) all around the world will get an opportunity to swear their loyalty to Motherland in a written form in the name of God. The last time such vow was demanded of the Georgians was the time of Irakliy II when Russia withdrew its troops from Georgia in protest against Georgia's peaceful treaty with Turkey.
Georgia is facing hard times. The flourishing appearance of President Mikhail Saakashvili presents a sharp contrast to the alarming sermons of the Georgian pastor.
On the Day of Svetitskhovloba (the Holy Pillar Day; in Russia - Protection of The Holy Mary Day) Ilia the Second addressed the parish in the Holy Trinity Church with an appeal to sign the Treaty on Unity of the Iberians.
"Today, when we feel the enemy's hand trying to separate Georgia, all the people of our country, the Georgians, Abkhazians and Ossetians must state that we will not allow separation of Georgia and will do everything possible for Georgia's integrity", - he said.
Last Sunday, the treaty was carried from Svetitskhoveli (Mtskheta) cathedral to the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi. Patriarch of Georgia was the first to affix his signature under the document.
Besides, on the Day of Svetitskhovloba the idea of Ilia the Second was approved by Head of the Georgian Parliament David Bakradze. Following Ilia the Second, the oppositional representatives hurriedly presented respects to the document "created by wisdom of His Holiness", as stated leader of Laborites Shalva Natelashvili. On the same day, the treaty was signed by The New Writes in the name of Pikria Chikhradze.
The document with the affixed signatures will be blessed by the Patriarch in one year, on the Day of Svetitskhovloba. All Georgians living in or outside Georgia may sign the treaty. Its copies will be sent out to all the Orthodox Churches not only in the country but around the world as well. Ilia the Second is calling upon the Abkhazians and the Ossetians to join his initiative.
As Deputy Head of the State Information Department of Abkhazia Alkhas Cholokua stated in his interview to GeorgiaTimes, Sukhum has not yet heard anything about it and would not look at it, saying that "Georgia is a foreign country for us and their initiatives do not concern us", - he underlined.
It looks like the text of the treaty will not even be available in the Abkhazian churches. Indeed, who will let the criers with the document in, considering the fact that Ilia the Second is a vehement opponent of the Abkhazian statehood? Besides, the Abkhazian Church has recently announced itself to be autocephalous and got from under control of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
Neither has South Ossetia, which territory was part of Iberia at the turn of the era, got any reason to defend the Georgian land.
Even if the Abkhazians and the Ossetians are descendants of those who inhabited parts of Iberia listed in the treaty: "Abkhazia, Achara, Guria, Tusheti, Imereti, Kakheti, Lazeti, Meskheti, Mtiuleti, Odishi, Racha-Lechkhumi, Svaneti, Pshchava-Khevsureti, Kartli, Khevi and Ereti", why should they stand for Georgia's unity now? It is the same thing as if all of a sudden, some Soviet activist called upon the residents of the former USSR republics to swear an oath of loyalty to Moscow one hundred years later!
The text of the treaty is truly an oath of loyalty to Georgia. Here is a precise quotation containing a lot of disputable statements in respect of Abkhazians and Ossetians:
"We are the descendants of one ancestor, many centuries ago we formed a single nation blessed with variety and united through language and culture; now we are enforcing our multi-century unity and in the name of the Almighty God do we swear our loyalty to Georgia, our love and support of each other; be it well seen in our minds and deeds, so that each one of us defended our land, traditions, freedom and dignity following the example of our heroic ancestors", - the document says.
Now, which of the Abkhazians or Ossetians will swear to yesterday enemies? Which of them regards himself as one nation with the Georgians provided that for many centuries these people have been treating the neighboring ethnos with prejudice?
And now let us recall the events that brought to life the first treaty, The Treaty of tsars and princes of Iberia signed by the people of Georgia in 1790 on the initiative of Tsar Irakliy the Second.
At that time, Georgia was under the threat of being absorbed by Persia, for Russia suspended the Treaty of St. George being dissatisfied with the decision of the Georgian authorities to sign a nonaggression treaty with Turkey in 1786. Russia was having a war with the Turks and in the same year of 1790 successfully conquered the Izmail fortress in the Balkans.