Chris­tians con­sider Barzany’s visit to Vat­i­can vi­tal

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Zakaria Muhammed

The Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Pres­i­dent Mas­soud Barzani vis­ited France and Italy two weeks ago and met with the French Pres­i­dent François Hol­lande in Paris, se­nior Ital­ian govern­ment of­fi­cials in Rome and then Pope Fran­cis in the Vat­i­can.

The high­light of the Kur­dish Pres­i­dent’s meet­ings was the of­fi­cial re­spect both the Vat­i­can and Rome paid to the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment (KRG). At both meet­ings the Kur­dish flag was dis­played along­side the Iraqi flag.

The Pope com­mended Pres­i­dent Barzani and the people of Kur­dis­tan for what they have achieved, par­tic­u­larly in of­fer­ing the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion as a safe haven for the Syr­ian refugees and for the Chris­tians flee­ing vi­o­lence in other parts of Iraq.

The Pope also praised Pres­i­dent Barzani for KRG’s pol­icy of pro­mot­ing tol­er­ance and peace­ful co-ex­is­tence among dif­fer­ent re­li­gious com­mu­ni­ties. He ex­pressed his hope that Kur­dis­tan would con­tinue to en­joy peace and pros­per­ity.

Sev­eral Chris­tian per­son­al­i­ties in Kur­dis­tan ex­press their feel­ings of pride over Pres­i­dent Barzani’s visit to the Vat­i­can and they think the visit will raise the stance of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion and will fur­ther re­in­force the re­la­tion­ships of Kurds with the Chris­tians.

Fahmi Slewa, a great Chris­tian fig­ure in Kur­dis­tan, said: “I be­came very happy when I saw Barzani meet­ing with the Pope. When I saw the Kur­dish flag in the meet­ing I be­came even hap­pier.”

Slewa be­lieves Barzani’s visit to Vat­i­can proved that there is no dif­fer­ence be­tween the Kurds and the Chris­tians in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion.

“Pope has been aware of KRG’s con­tin­u­ous help and as­sis­tance pro­vided to the Chris­tians who are up­rooted from the mid­dle and the south­ern parts of Iraq and sought refuge in the Kurd- is­tan Re­gion. I am sure the his­tory will never for­get this at­ti­tude at all. This stance of the KRG is ap­pre­ci­ated by many coun­tries,” ex­plained Slewa

Amir Goga Yousif, for­mer Kur­dis­tan MP, also praised Pres­i­dent Barzani’s visit to Vat­i­can. “This is the first time Barzani vis­its the Vat­i­can since Fran­cis be­came Pope. The Pope’s pre­vi­ous vis­its to Jordan and Pales­tine were main rea­sons be­hind his be­ing aware of the Mid­dle East sit­u­a­tion,” he noted.

Goga said that the Chris­tians never feel they are dis­crim­i­nated as they have been liv­ing along with the Kurds for thou­sands of years. They share the same des­tiny as the Kurds."

“The cur­rent sit­u­a­tion in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion is not po­lit­i­cally sta­bi­lized yet. But it is the men­tal­ity and the pos­i­tive at­ti­tude of the Kurds that have cre­ated such a con­di­tion where the Kurds and the Chris­tians can live to­gether. The two com­mu­ni­ties tol­er­ate and ac­cept each other and strive to live in peace," con­cluded Amir Goga.

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