TBILISI (Armenpress)–The parliament of former Soviet republic of Georgia had to stop work today after its members–representing the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities–began a dispute over a proposal by an Armenian deputy to commemorate the victims of the 1915 Armenian genocide by observing a moment of silence. The proposal met a harsh counter reaction from the Azerbaijani members of the parliament.
Azerbaijani lawmakers argued that "it is the parliament of Georgia–not of Armenia." In an attempt to diffuse the tension–parliament chairwoman Nino Burjanidze offered to respect the memory of all peaceful citizens of Armenia–Azerbaijan and Georgia who fell victims to military conflicts. The offer was supported by both Armenia’s and Azeris–but after the one minute silence expired–they resumed the dispute–forcing the chairwoman to close the session.