Pope’s spe­cial en­voy meets Kur­dish Pres­i­dent and Prime Min­is­ter

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

Car­di­nal Filoni, en­voy for Pope Fran­cis vis­ited Er­bil on Thurs­day, Au­gust 14, 2014 and sep­a­rately met with Mas­soud Barzani, Pres­i­dent of Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, and Nechir­van Barzani, Prime Min­is­ter of Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment.

Dur­ing the meet­ing between Pres­i­dent Barzani and Car­di­nal Filoni, the lat­ter passed the re­gards of Pope Fran­cis to Pres­i­dent Barzani and ex­pressed his grat­i­tude to­wards Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, its Pres­i­dent and its peo­ple for wel­com­ing and help­ing refugees and IDPs. Filoni also ap­pre­ci­ated the brave and con­tin­u­ous strug­gle of the Kurds and their re­sis­tance against all the odds and still pro­tect­ing their val­ues of co-ex­is­tence and tol­er­ance. “The piece of land that holds all dif­fer­ences to­gether is ex­tremely valu­able for us and the whole world should know it,” said Filoni dur­ing the meet­ing.

Filoni also talked about the role of Pesh­marga in pro­tect­ing the re­gion with all its re­li­gious and eth­nic groups and their fierce re­sis­tance against ter­ror­ism. He said now in Europe, Pesh­marga has be­come a sym­bol of re­sis­tance and fight­ing for their rights.

In re­turn Pres­i­dent Barzani ex­pressed his grati- tude for the great sup­port from Vat­i­can and said the let­ter from Pope Fran­cis is a proof that Kurds have a strong sup­port.

“Kur­dis­tan is fight­ing against a ter­ror­ist state on be­half of the whole world, a state that is against all eth­nic­i­ties and re­li­gions and against life,” Barzani told Filoni and his ac­com­pa­ny­ing del­e­ga­tion from Chris­tian re­li­gious men. “We will fight ter­ror­ists till the last drop of our blood, and we will pro­tect our Chris­tian, Yezidi and other broth­ers and sisters.”

Barzani also asked the Chris­tian com­mu­nity not to think of immigration and leav­ing their home­land, and told them “we will pro­tect Kur­dis­tan to­gether and we will ei­ther all live in free­dom and liberty or all die to­gether.”

Barzani also ex­pressed his grat­i­tude to­wards the help and sup­port from the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and “our friends” for the Kurds in their fight against ter­ror­ism and strive to pro­tect and help the IDPs. “How­ever, ter­ror­ism is an in­ter­na­tional phe­nom­e­non and hence an in­ter­na­tional ef­fort is required to stop it,” Barzani said. “Vic­tory is guar­an­teed. A na­tion may lose in a mil­i­tary per­spec­tive but should not lose its self-con­fi­dence and should have the con- fi­dence to sur­vive.”

Car­di­nal Filoni and his ac­com­pa­ny­ing del­e­ga­tion also met with Nechir­van Barzani, Prime Min­is­ter of Kur­dis­tan Re­gion.

The Prime Min­is­ter Bar- zani re­it­er­ated that it is the duty of the KRG to pro­tect and sup­port dis­placed Christians, Yezidis, and other re­li­gious and eth­nic groups seek­ing refuge in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion. He said he would mo­bi­lize all re­sources to sup­port them; how­ever, given the num­ber of refugees and dis­placed peo­ple, the KRG can­not pro­vide ad­e­quate as­sis­tance.

They need phys­i­cal pro­tec­tion from the ter­ror­ists, not only ver­bal sup­port, be­cause the ter­ror­ists tar­get churches, mosques, and holy shrines. Prime Min­is­ter Barzani noted that the ter­ror­ists now con­sti­tute an army and in­clude in­di­vid­u­als from all over the world, so the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, in co­or­di­na­tion with the KRG and the Gov­ern­ment of Iraq, must con­front them to­gether.

The Car­di­nal re­quested the KRG to iden­tify solutions for hous­ing and ac­com­mo­da­tion for the dis­placed, as well as an ar­range­ment for stu­dents so that they would not lose an aca­demic year. The Prime Min­is­ter promised to fol­low up on this re­quest and co­or­di­nate with rel­e­vant KRG au­thor­i­ties to im­ple­ment ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures.

The del­e­ga­tion stated that Christians will never for­get the sup­port pro­vided by the gov­ern­ment and the peo­ple of Kur­dis­tan, and that his­tory will record th­ese ac­tions. Prime Min­is­ter Barzani urged the del­e­ga­tion to mo­bi­lize the Vat­i­can’s in­ter­na­tional in­flu­ence to sup­port the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion and the dis­placed families it is host­ing.

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