Falah Mustafa meets Car­di­nal Francesco Coc­co­palme­rio of the Vat­i­can

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

As part of his visit to Italy, Falah Mustafa, Head of the Depart­ment of For­eign Re­la­tions of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment’s Depart­ment of For­eign Re­la­tions, vis­ited Car­di­nal Francesco Coc­co­palme­rio, the Pope’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive, in the Vat­i­can. Min­is­ter Mustafa was ac­com­pa­nied by Rezan Ha­masalih, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment in Italy, and Suham Ma­mand, the Deputy For­eign Re­la­tions Man­ager, Ad­vi­sor Salim Ibrahim and a num­ber of other mem­bers of the KRG of­fice.

Car­di­nal Coc­co­palme­rio wel­comed the Kur­dish del­e­ga­tion to the Vat­i­can and stated that di­a­logue is one of the bases of un­der­stand­ing and that the Pope has al­ways made di­a­logue a prin­ci­ple for mu­tual un­der­stand­ing with other re­li­gions, es­pe­cially Is­lam. He also re­ferred to the strong ties be­tween the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion and the Vat­i­can, say­ing that the KRG Pres­i­dent has vis­ited the Vat­i­can and met with the Pope on sev­eral oc­ca­sions.

Min­is­ter Mustafa ex­pressed his grat­i­tude to Car­di­nal Coc­co­palme­rio for meet­ing the del­e­ga­tion and passed on the re­gards of the Pres­i­dent and Prime Min­ster of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion to the Pope. He also thanked the Vat­i­can for the con­tin­u­ous sup­port they have shown the KRG rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Italy and hoped their re­la­tion­ship would con­tinue to grow in the fu­ture.

“The Prime Min­is­ter as­signs con­sid­er­able im­por­tance to the KRG’s re­la­tion­ship with the Vat­i­can and this visit aims to fa­cil­i­tate an ex­change of thoughts on how th­ese ties might be de­vel­oped,” Mustafa told Coc­co­palme­rio.

The KRG of­fi­cial then de­scribed the sit­u­a­tion in Kur­dis­tan with the Re­gion’s prin­ci­ple of re­li­gious free­dom and cul­tural tol­er­ance and the co­ex­is­tence of dif­fer­ent eth­nic­i­ties and re­li­gions. He talked about gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tives to deepen and strengthen th­ese prin­ci­ples in the Kur­dis­tan com­mu­nity and its pol­icy of al­lo­cat­ing ap­pro­pri­ate roles in gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tions to ev­ery sects and groups in the Re­gion.

He also told the car­di­nal about the help and as­sis­tance the gov­ern­ment has given to refugees, and the role played by Kur­dish lead­ers, and Pres­i­dent Mas­soud Barzani in par­tic­u­lar, in guar­an­tee­ing mi­nor­ity re­li­gious and eth­nic rights in the Iraqi per­ma­nent con­sti­tu­tion. He fin­ished by de­scrib­ing the legacy of the leg­endary Kur­dish leader, Mustafa Barzani, and his sup­port for peace, tol­er­ance and co­ex­is­tence.

“The Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment does not see re­li­gious and eth­nic dif­fer­ences as a threat to Kur­dish so­ci­ety, but rather as a source of strength and wealth,” Mustafa told Coc­co­palme­rio.

Car­di­nal Coc­co­palme­rio passed on the re­gards of the Pope to the KRG Pres­i­dent and the peo­ple of Kur­dis­tan and thanked the KRG for its ef­forts on be­half of, and con­tin­u­ous sup­port for, the Chris­tians in Kur­dis­tan and Iraq. As he said, “We sup­port the es­tab­lish­ment of ties with the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion and the de­vel­op­ment of th­ese re­la­tions. We will con­tinue to sup­port the KRG of­fice in Italy and hope to visit the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion in the fu­ture.”

At the end of the meet­ing, Min­is­ter Mustafa briefed Coc­co­palme­rio on the suf­fer­ings of the Kur­dish na­tion, which in­clude chem­i­cal bomb­ing, the An­fal and the de­struc­tion of Kur­dis­tani vil­lages as part of the geno­ci­dal poli­cies of suc­ces­sive Iraqi gov­ern­ments. He also talked briefly about re­cent de­vel­op­ments in Kur­dis­tan in the spheres of pol­i­tics, se­cu­rity, sta­bil­ity, the econ­omy, so­ci­ety and in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions.

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