YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–As reported last week–the director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia and head of the Armenian Center for Conflict Resolution Nikolai Hovhannessian said that the plans for a conference between Georgian and Armenian scholars were foiled by the administration of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region.
In an interview with Noyan Tapan–Governor of Samtskhe-Javakheti Gigla Baramidze said that neither the region’s administration nor the representative of the Georgian president had been notified of the conference.
As for reports that the roundtable was prohibited in view of the growing tension in Javakhk–Baramidze said that "We always welcome guests–but the arrival of the delegation was not a personal visit and due to that fact the officials of the region should have been notified in advance," said Baramidze..
The scholars were going to discuss the current socio-economic–cultural and educational problems of Javakhk as well as issues related to regional governance. The delegations of the two countries discussed similar problems during a conference that took place in Yerevan this April. The second conference was going to be held in the towns of Ninotsmind and Akhalkalaki.
Director of Georgian Democracy and Conflict Resolution Center Georgi Gogsadzen reportedy telephoned Hovhannesian to inform him that the scheduled conference was canceled by the authorities of the Samtskhe-Javakhk were concerned that the presence of Armenian academician could further heighten tensions in the region. Thus–the round table was canceled.