Kurdistan Barzani meets Iraqi Christian priests, reiterates Kurdistan support

Barzani meets Iraqi Christian priests, reiterates Kurdistan support
President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani met a number of senior Christian priests in Erbil, Kurdistan Region, April 7, 2017. (Photo: KRP)

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – On Thursday, the President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani met a number of Christian clergies in Erbil from various sects, including Catholics, Chaldeans, and Assyrians.

The delegates thanked the Kurdistan Region and Peshmerga forces for liberating and protecting Christians and other ethnic and religious minorities in the country in the past few years against the threat of the extremists, read a statement by Kurdistan Region Presidency office.

“During the meeting, President Barzani warmly welcomed the delegation and acknowledged the significance of the Christians' endurance during these challenging times for all Iraqi components as they face this existential threat from the terrorists of the Islamic State [IS].”

Barzani highlighted the diversity of Iraq in general and Kurdistan Region in particular as a defining aspect of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). “Either we will all freely live together in peace or die together.”

He also discussed the situation post-IS. He extended the support of the KRG to the Christian community in guaranteeing their future and facilitating their return to their liberated areas.

President noted that the residents of the liberated areas have to decide on their future whether they want to remain part of Iraq or join the Kurdistan Region in order to protect and administrate themselves.

After the emergence of the IS in northern Iraq in June 2014, a large number of Christians from a different part of Iraqi fled to the Kurdistan Region and abroad. According to unofficial data, Kurdistan Region is home to 320,000 Christians.