PM Barzani joins Christians to celebrate Christmas
On Christmas eve, Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani spoke in Ainkawa district in Erbil to a large audience, most of who have fled the violent repression of the Islamic State terrorist organization and took refuge in Kurdistan.
PM Barzani told the audience that like elsewhere in the world, they also celebrate Christmas in Kurdistan, where families gather, exchange gifts and pray for peace and security for their families, relatives, friends and humanity.
“We also have the same dreams and hopes and prayers,” PM Barzani said. “This is the culture of the peaceful coexistence we live in Kurdistan, among all our people regardless of religion, sect, ethnicity, or language. The dream of all people in our country is to live together in peace and comfort. What distinguishes Kurdistan from other places in the region is our tolerance towards all religions and ethnicities. This is our culture and it is our will.”
Reiterating that Christians are a fundamental, essential component of Kurdistan and Iraq, Barzani vowed to continue to assist them and meet their needs.
Barzani also talked about the recent victories of Peshmarga Forces in their fight against ISIS and their efforts to re- take the occupied lands, and promised that all displaced Christians, Yazidis and other minorities will be returned back to their homes. He encouraged the Christians to be patient and have hope in returning to their ordinary and peaceful life and not to think of leaving their homeland.
“As a result of terrorist crimes we have been hearing there is strong demand to leave the country. We understand these feel- ings. We understand this feeling of hopelessness. At the same time, we do not forget the 1980s when a tragedy of similar proportion struck so many in Kurdistan during the horrific Baath attacks committed in the name of Anfal. But we did not leave our country.”
PM Barzani kept on saying “In this historic time I urge our beloved Christians, Yezidis, Shabaks, Turkmens, and all our communities to re- main steadfast. The life of the enemy is short. They want to divide us by threatening our ethnoreligious minorities in Kurdistan and Iraq and force them to leave their homeland.”
Therefore, he pledged to light a candle for the rebirth of hopes, for a bright future, and for the peaceful coexistence of all religious and ethnic communities in Kurdistan and Iraq.