Azeris Block Armenians from Visiting Dadivank in Artsakh

Armenians were barred from making a pilgrimage to Dadivank
Armenians were barred from making a pilgrimage to Dadivank

Armenians were barred from making a pilgrimage to Dadivank

Azerbaijani authorities blocked a group of Armenians from visiting Dadivank in Artsakh.

Dadivank, which is located in the Karvachar region of Artsakh was surrendered to Azerbaijan under the November 9 agreement. However, through a special arrangement, pilgrims can travel to the monastery accompanied by Russian peacekeeping forces.

On Sunday at 8 a.m. local time, a group that traveled from Armenia for a pilgrimage to the holy site left Stepanakert escorted by Russian peacekeepers, reported Azat Artsakh.

When the group reached the Azerbaijani checkpoint near the monastery complex, the Azerbaijani soldiers blocked their entrance, claiming that they were unaware of the group’s pilgrimage.

According to Azat Artsakh, the Azerbaijani check point guards said that they were under orders to ban not only pilgrims but also members of the clergy from entering the sanctuary.

Despite assurances from Russian peacekeepers, as well as the Armenian group leader, the Azerbaijanis forced the visitors to return to Stepanakert.

“Before, the Azerbaijani side was demanding only the number of pilgrims heading to Davdivank, and the number was to be no more than 30 persons,” the Primate of the Artsakh Diocese Bishop Vrtanes Abrahamyan told Armenpress on Tuesday. “Now they are demanding that we present lists with names ahead of visits. Therefore, on Sunday we will provide the list of pilgrims with the peacekeepers in order not to have other difficulties in entering Dadivank.”

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