Domestic or inter-ethnic clash in Georgia? Different opinions voiced on the matter (video)

There cannot be ethnic problems hindering Armenian-Georgian relations, Georgian journalist Koba Gogava says expressing his surprise that incidents are interpreted at a household level. Georgians are not ill-disposed to Armenians and there are not anti-Armenian moods in the country. The incident that happened in an Armenian church in Tbilisi might have happened to other national minorities living in the country and there is no need to think that it was motivated by religious and ethnic prejudice.

Koba Gogava knows what response the incident received in Armenia. He says it can happen to everyone and any time; kinsmen can argue in the same way and there is no need to politicize the issue. “We treat Armenians in the same way as we treat other nations, we live and work together,” said the Georgian journalist.

Then he added ‘the Armenian Church is also our church, Armenians are full-fledged citizens of Georgia.’

Boris Karslyan, a journalist of Javakhk-based “Nor” radio, cites in example from Javakhk where Armenians and Georgians live in harmony side by side. He knows the reaction of the Georgian media and social networks in connection with the incident. “They write that it was an act of hooliganism and should be viewed as a domestic incident, while the Armenian press has reacted more harshly.”

Susanna Khachatryan, n, Head of the Press Service of the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Holy Church in Georgia, reminds that this was the third clash between Armenians and Georgians in 2014 and viewing the problem only at the household level will be too mild. “Obviously, there is national intolerance [in Georgia]; we feel it at every turn.” Ms. Khachatryan adds that these events cannot break the centuries-old friendship between the two peoples.

Arsen Kharatyan, an expert and member of management board of Civil Agreement, says at first it was a domestic conflict but then turned into a group attack. He advises waiting for the results of the preliminary investigation.

Arsen Kharatyan draws attention to the fact that the only Armenian structure that operates in Tbilisi today is Surb Etchmiadzin Church which hosts all cultural events and similar incidents are inevitable given the flows of people.