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President and patriarch "resolve misunderstanding"

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.messenger.com.ge/issues/1362_may_23_2007/n_1362_2.htm Wednesday, May 23, 2007, #095 (1362) President and patriarch resolve misunderstanding By
    Message 1 of 1 , May 23, 2007
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      http://www.messenger.com.ge/issues/1362_may_23_2007/n_1362_2.htm

      Wednesday, May 23, 2007, #095 (1362)

      President and patriarch "resolve misunderstanding"
      By David Matsaberidze

      According to Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava, the
      "misunderstanding" resulting in the demolition of
      the half-built church in Adjara has been resolved
      after a meeting between President Saakashvili and
      the Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II
      on Monday evening. Ugulava also attended the meeting.

      But details have yet to be offered about what
      caused the misunderstanding and opposition
      lawmakers are growing angrier by the day.

      "After the meeting between the president and the
      patriarch, the ruling party told us that the
      incident was over and the problem was solvedÂ… But
      it is inadmissible to leave the public without
      any information about what really happened and
      who ordered and executed this order to demolish
      the church," New Rights MP Pikria Chikhradze said quotes Civil Georgia.

      Ruling party lawmakers were reluctant to discuss
      the issue during the parliament session on
      Tuesday. The opposition demanded that the prime
      minister come to parliament and brief them over
      the issue. Senior ruling party MP Giga Bokeria
      lashed out at the opposition accusing them of political grandstanding.

      "When you are bankrupt politically and have no
      chances of success, you try to show off as the
      defender of the Church and holy places in order
      to gain public support. You will not succeed and
      you will face lots of problems and failures in
      the future," Rustavi 2 reports Bokeria as saying.

      Bokeria's comments came as are response to
      opposition MP Gocha Jojua's comments earlier who
      had assessed the attack on the church as
      "vandalism" and a "fight against the Church".

      Rustavi 2 reports that Jojua said the president
      should be held responsible for the abuse of the
      Orthodox religion and appealed to international
      organizations to notice that the ruling party's popularity was on the decline.

      Democratic Front MP Zviad Dzidziguri joined the
      attack saying, "Authorities call the incident an
      'unfortunate misunderstanding' but in reality it
      is an abuse of religious relics. The Adjaran case
      is not an exception, but rather the continuing of
      a trend in our country. They took away the cross
      in Kobuleti, Khashuri and Khobi. In addition,
      Samegrelo governor objects to the construction of
      a Cathedral in Poti and interferes in the activities of the church."

      Dzidziguri declared, "We are demanding severe
      punishment of those people, related to the case,
      not only those, who ordered the destruction of
      the church, but those who actually carried out the orders."

      The Adjaran branch of the Republican Party called
      for the resignation of the head of the Adjara
      Autonomous Republic Levan Varshalomidze, the
      Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Adjara
      Autonomous Republic Mikheil Makharadze, Batumi
      Mayor Irakli Tavartkiladze and the head of the
      district of Khelvachauri Badri Shavlidze blaming
      them for ordering the demolition.
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