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ARMENIAN PILGRIMS WERE PROHIBITED TO ENTER DADIVANK

Zarine MAYILYAN

 As it is known, as a result of the notorious ceasefire agreement signed on November 9, the Karvachar region of the Artsakh Republic was given to Azerbaijan.

According to the agreement reached through the mediation of the Russian peacekeeping forces stationed in the region, Armenian pilgrims were allowed to enter Dadivank from the end of November. On Sundays, the Russian peacekeepers accompanied the pilgrims to the monastery complex, where the faithful participated in the Liturgy and received the sacrament. By the way, the monastery complex is currently controlled by the Russian peacekeeping forces, although Azeris have been deployed in the area.

According to the agreement, on Sunday, February 7, at 8.00 am, another group of pilgrims left Stepanakert's Renaissance Square for Dadivank accompanied by the Russian peacekeeping forces. The group was joined by clergymen who were to replace the clergymen serving in the complex. The pilgrims had to take to Dadivank the icon "Destruction of Hell" consecrated in St. Hakob Church of Stepanakert, which was sent from Yerevan by the author, painter Zhanna Khlghatyan. After traveling a long way, the group of pilgrims approached the Azerbaijani checkpoint located near the territory of the monastery. According to the preliminary agreement, the group was supposed to enter Dadivank, but the Azeris forbade it, reasoning that they were not informed about the group. The Russian peacekeeping forces, the head of the group of pilgrims, repeatedly explained that everything was clarified, "everyone is informed, but the Azerbaijanis were adamant." The latter forced the group of pilgrims to return to Getavan and wait for clarifications. After waiting for three hours and making adjustments again, the Russian peacekeepers escorted the group back to Dadivank, but after a long wait there, the Azeris did not agree to open the road, saying that they had been ordered to ban not only pilgrims but also clergymen on duty from entering the sanctuary. After long quarrels, the group had to return to Stepanakert in the evening. The pilgrims asked the Russian peacekeeping forces to at least bring the icon to Dadivank. The officials of the Artsakh Diocese intend to take the issue to the relevant instances.

What new order and agreement do the Azerbaijanis have regarding Dadivank, about which the Russian peacekeeping forces are not aware, or was this another provocation: time will show.