Comment by the Abkhazian Foreign Ministry

Comment by the Abkhazian Foreign Ministry
11 January 2017 475
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia noticed the information voiced by Georgian officials on the fact of damage to a monument of historical and cultural heritage during the construction of the range supposedly in the Tsebelda village of the Gulripsh district of Abkhazia.

First of all, it should be noted that the statement on the construction of military range does not correspond to reality. There is already a firing range in the Tsebelda village, located in the enjoyment of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Abkhazia. In accordance with the signed between Abkhazia and Russia bilateral agreements, the Abkhaz side may transmit relevant areas and areas for military exercises for shared use to the Russian side. Considering that cooperation between the defense ministries of Abkhazia and Russia is based on a solid legal basis, the disturbance of the authorities in Tbilisi in this regard is completely incomprehensible.

As for the statement of the Georgian authorities on the destruction of the historical monument, so in this case there is a distortion of the real situation. When cleaning the range area, the historical monument was really damaged. A special commission of experts of the Ministry of Culture and Protection of Historical and Cultural Heritage and the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Abkhazia is already set up to examine the case and take appropriate measures to assess the damage caused to the monument. The results of the commission's work will be announced through the media.

Tbilisi’s appeal to UNESCO over the damaged monument is puzzling. It will be recalled to the Georgian side, as in the time of Patriotic War of the people of Abkhazia in 1992-1993, Georgian troops ruthlessly destroyed priceless historical and cultural values, seeking to destroy all that is associated with the history and culture of Abkhazia. However, at the time Georgian leaders were not very much worried about such "little things".

We call on the Georgian side to stop politicize any facts related to the state of the monuments and other cultural property situated within the territory of the Republic of Abkhazia.

Abkhazian Foreign Ministry is ready to assist in establishing contacts between the specialists of the Ministry of Culture and Protection of Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Abkhazia and UNESCO experts to develop a joint mechanism for the protection of historical and cultural heritage of the Republic of Abkhazia.

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