Iraqi President Latif Rashid Meets Pope Francis at the Vatican, Emphasizing Interfaith Harmony and Regional Stability

11/18/2023 11:29:23 PM
 President Latif Rashid Meets Pope Francis in Vatican, November 17, 2023
Iraqi President Latif Rashid engaged in a crucial meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, expressing gratitude for the Pope's recent visit to Iraq and underlining its significance in fostering peaceful coexistence among religions.

President Rashid emphasized the urgent need for consolidating values of brotherhood and humanity in the region. The Iraqi Presidency issued a statement, highlighting Rashid's stress on the importance of dialogue, cooperation, and collective action among people, recognizing the positive impact of the Holy See's messages in promoting understanding and calm.

President Rashid took the opportunity to showcase Iraq's strides in political and security stability, outlining the country's commitment to comprehensive development. Focus areas included improving citizens' living standards, repairing infrastructure, and driving economic development.

He reiterated Iraq's dedication to democracy, pluralism, and the protection of human rights. Addressing the relationship between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal government, President Rashid assured a commitment to resolving outstanding issues based on the Iraqi Constitution and the Law.

In a significant move, President Rashid affirmed the government's commitment to the vital role of Christian communities in Iraqi society. He pledged to facilitate the resettlement of Christians, Yezidis, and other indigenous communities in their homes, stating that the Presidency is open to addressing their demands, ensuring livelihoods, and preserving diversity. Furthermore, President Rashid condemned human rights violations in Palestine and the Gaza Strip, urging the international community to intensify efforts to prevent such violations, protect civilians, and facilitate humanitarian assistance.

Pope Francis, in turn, welcomed President Rashid, expressing the Holy See's support for Iraqi efforts in strengthening intercommunity relations and interfaith harmony. The Pope acknowledged the sacrifices made by the Christian community for a prosperous Iraq and underscored the importance of enhancing global peace opportunities.

In recent years, Iraq has stood out in the Middle East as a place where the Christian population has been growing, with the Kurdistan region earning a reputation as a welcoming and friendly place for Christians. The Kurdistan region, in particular, has been recognized as a Christian-friendly area, contributing to the increase in the number of Christians in Iraq. This trend is noteworthy in a region where such growth has been relatively uncommon.

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