Public officials propose a new solution to the problem of St. David of Garedja Monastery
The St. David of Garedja Lavra, founded in the early sixth century by the great Georgian ascetic, Abba David, during the Soviet period suddenly found itself on the territory of Azerbaijan. Today public officials from both Georgia and Azerbaijan are proposing new solutions for an old problem.
The intergovernmental bipartisan commission of Georgia and Azerbaijan have been working on the delimitation of their borders for 17 years; nevertheless, the borders between the two countries are still unclear. In the words of the Vice Chairman of the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nino Kalandadze, St. David of Garedja Monastery and the village of Erisimedi remain on disputed territories.
Now public officials from both countries have come up with a new idea. The Azerbaijani political scientist Parvin Darabadi proposed making the monastery complex an "ex-territory," which would mean that the complex would belong to both sides, reports, Gruzia On-line.
The Georgian historian Marika Lortkipanidze, however, has put forth the idea of declaring the territory a monastic republic, similar to Mt. Athos in Greece. The agency notes that, "According to the words of the secretary of the Georgian Church Fr. Mikhail Botkoveli, this idea is a new one, and the Georgian Church will study the matter fundamentally before taking a fixed position on it."