Georgian patriarch wants dialogue with Russia
Georgia, Tbilisi, March 1 / Trend N.Kirtzkhalia /
Catholicos-Patriarch of All-Georgia, Archbishop of Mtskheta-Tbilisi and Abkhazia and Pitsunda Metropolitan, His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II called upon the leaders of Georgia and Russia to engage in a dialogue.
"I appeal to the leaders of both countries and call on them to show wisdom and courage in order to initiate a dialogue at various levels to discuss and resolve the backlog of complex issues," Ilia II said in a recent statement.
The statement stressed that a difficult situation is presently being observed in the Caucasus due to unresolved conflicts and problems, which are compounded by the virtual absence of dialogue between Russia and Georgia at the state level. This contributes to suspicion and mistrust among the parties with respect to each other and prevent problems from being addressed.
Catholicos-Patriarch believes that some measures have been taken in terms of allowing citizens to move between the two countries, but further steps must be made.
"We must draw lessons from the past and look to the future based on the interests of our two peoples and countries. We should remember the wise words: 'Before we see the rising sun, you see your neighbor.' Continued hostility between neighbors is unacceptable!" Ilia II said.
Earlier, a Georgian patriarchate delegation left for Moscow. It includes the Metropolitan Gerasimos of Zugdidi and Tsaishsky (Sharashenidze), Archimandrite David (Dzhincharauli), Archpriest George (Kharazishvili), ex-Georgian ambassador to Russia Zurab Abashidze.
Members of the delegation will hold talks with the Russian Patriarchate Church and meet with Moscow and All-Russia Patriarch Kirill. The delegation will stay in Moscow until the end of the week.