Samtskhe-Javakheti next step toward mythical Great Armenia
Trend European Desk Commentator Elmira Tariverdiyeva
The issue of granting a status to the Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia became a stumbling block during the historic visit of Catholicos of All-Armenians Karekin II to Georgia.
Before his visit, Georgian Armenians expressed hope that Karekin II would reach agreement on the status of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, as well as to regain the Armenian Diocese's control over their six churches, which the Armenian side calls their own, but Georgia has called controversial.
The visit lasted for six days. It became clear that the mission of Karekin II failed, and the Georgian side tactfully made it clear that the Armenian claims are baseless.
The Armenians were outraged when Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II said at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Tbilisi during the Sunday sermon that His Holiness Karekin II is a young man.
"Perhaps, he needs more experience," he said. "He is clever. But he wants to do everything quickly."
Armenian media voiced critical remarks against Georgia, stating that an unenlightened observer may get the feeling that he was attacking all Armenians living in Georgia.
But the truth is that Armenians want another piece of Georgia's territory. Everything is good in the struggle for land. Religious issues have become a bargaining chip on this course. A mythical Great Armenia is the prize.
The eternal Armenian issue of "historic motherland" in different countries rose sharply for all Armenians in Georgia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Georgian region of Samtskhe-Javakheti, unfortunately, mostly populated by Armenians, gives no rest toYerevan for twenty years.
Armenia has repeatedly voiced accusations that the Armenian population, living in the region of Samtskhe-Javakheti, is oppressed by the Georgian authorities. There were hints that it would be nice to be maximally independent of the center, that is directly from Tbilisi. The omnipresent Armenian diaspora has repeatedly accused the Georgian authorities of all mortal sins committed against the "suffering" Armenians living in the region of Georgia. According to Armenians, in fact, it is not Georgian territory, quite the contrary.
According to the Armenians worldwide, in this scenario the Georgian authorities at least can give autonomy to Samtskhe-Javakheti and declare the second state language - Armenian, of course, in the region.
As the representative of Azerbaijan, I would like to warn Georgia of this scenario, as the official Baku is well aware of Armenia's specific feature - not to be satisfied with little.
Samtskhe-Javakheti miraculously escaped the fate of Nagorno-Karabakh.
In 1985 when the shapes of USSR breakdown only started outlining, influential representatives of the so-called world Armenianship, having gathered at the 23rd congress of Dashnaksutun Party in Athens, raised the question of expanding Armenia's borders.
With one-vote majority, those who gathered there voted for annexation of Azerbaijani, not Georgian territories. The logic was that Nagorno-Karabakh was an autonomous region in contrast to Armenian-populated Samtskhe-Javaheti region of Georgia.
However, the presence of territories inhabited by Armenians, and even in the immediate vicinity of the borders of Armenia, give not rest to Yerevan and all Armenians. The most important thing for Armenia now is to maximize the isolation of Samtskhe-Javakheti from Georgia and the Georgian authorities.
Then with a small margin gathered voted for the capture of Azerbaijani and Georgian territories are not. Municipality, including Armenians and Nagorno-Karabakh, which, being autonomy of Azerbaijan, is the first step towards the restoration of the Armenian mythical "Great Armenia". This was the logic, as Nagorno-Karabakh was an autonomous region, in contrast to the Armenian-populated region of Georgia Javakheti.
However, the presence of territories inhabited by Armenians, and even in the immediate vicinity of the borders of Armenia, Yerevan does not, and all members of the Armenian sleep. And most important for Armenia now - to maximize the isolation of Samtskhe-Javakheti from Georgia and the Georgian authorities.
The Armenians think that the autonomy is the correct and successful start of "amputation" of other countries' regions inhabited by Armenians.
Taking into account the above-mentioned, we must admit that there is a great risk of problems in the south of Georgian region inhabited by the Armenians. Not only the Armenian diaspora, but also some foreign players, having advantage from destabilizing the situation in the country, will do their best.