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Georgia’s Patriarchate: We had wrong views on NATO and EU

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, November 17
After the four-day visit to Belgium and Brussels, Georgia’s Patriarchate issued a statement saying they had held 'wrong views' about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) policies on several issues.

Moreover, the Patriarchate stressed the NATO and European structures were also misinformed about the Georgian Church.

A delegation composed of Georgian clergymen visited Brussels and Belgium on November 7-11 and held informational meetings in the headquarters of the NATO and the EU, as well as in the European Parliament.

The visit took place within the frames of the project - Georgia and the European Union which aims to inform Georgian people about the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration and increase their involvement in the process.

The Patriarchate believes that the decision on Georgia’s integration to the Euro-Atlantic family should be made by Georgians and the church has nothing against it. However, the church believes the top priorities for the country are:

• Georgia must be independent

• Georgia’s territorial integrity should be restored

• The country should develop by taking traditional values into consideration.

The statement says that at the high-level meetings, it was clearly specified that a family is determined as a unity of a woman and a man in many EU-member countries and it is absolutely acceptable for the EU Structures that this issue was clearly defined in Georgia’s constitution too.

None of the official documents operating in the EU or NATO encouraged same-sex marriage. They did not prohibit the definition of marriage as the unity of only man and a woman from being written into a country’s main laws, reads the statement. The church says they found out that religion is taught as a subject at schools in some European countries, and until now Georgian Patriarchate believed Western policies prohibited talk about religious needs and was against teaching religion at secondary institutions.

“NATO-EU officials were excited about the depth of the knowledge of our clergymen,” said Georgia’s former Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, now Georgia’s Ambassador to US, David Bakradze.