Georgia, Tbilisi, March 14 / Trend, N. Kirtzkhalia /
According to Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, the construction of a mosque in Batumi is a non issue.
"I do not understand why this issue has become problematic for Batumi, where Muslims need a mosque," Ivanishvili said at a meeting with representatives of regional media today. "They are our citizens and they must fulfill their religious needs."
He said that there are 200 mosques in Georgia.
"We are tolerant people and Georgian Muslims are our citizens, they have the same rights as Christians," he said.
Ivanishvili stressed that this issue is a matter of good and friendly relations with Turkey. Georgia must not damage relations with its large Western neighbor.
"We will never prosecute people for religious principles," he said. "Personally, I want to spend my own money to build a mosque and we will find the appropriate way of going about it."
The Prime Minister urged to be cautious in this regard.