ASIA/IRAQ - Barzani seeks the support of Christians on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan

Tuesday, 19 July 2016 international politics  


Erbil (Agenzia Fides) - A referendum on the future to establish the full independence of Iraqi Kurdistan and the assurance that Christians will return to live as "owners" in the villages of the Nineveh Plain conquered by militiamen of the Islamic State (Daesh ) when the jihadists will be defeated and even Mosul will be freed. These are some of the key points made in the meeting held on Saturday, July 16, in Erbil, between Kurdish leader Masud Barzani, President of the Autonomous Region of Iraqi Kurdistan, and representatives of acronyms and political parties formed by Christian activists and leaders operating in the area.
The content of the meeting, also mentioned in the press releases issued by the Presidency of the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan, document the intention of President Barzani to involve these political formations in the preparation of a preliminary plan on the political future of the Region, before the recapture of Mosul and the final liberation of the land currently controlled by Daesh.
Referring to Christian politicians, Barzani said that "these people have the right to determine their own future" and invited them to remain active participants in the political process that involves the entire area. The hypothesis prefigured in the talks is always to make the Nineveh Plain an "autonomous province with a Christian majority"; and then enable the inhabitants of the Province to choose, through a referendum, its political framework under the rule of an independent Iraqi Kurdistan, rather than under the federal government based in Baghdad.
The statement of the Presidency of the Autonomous Region of Iraqi Kurdistan, sent to Agenzia Fides, stresses the urgent need to agree upon the future political profile of the area, which guarantees minority groups to live in peace and security, without being exposed to violence and discrimination suffered several times in different historical stages, guarantee the life of security groups without being exposed to the problems of the past. The Kurdish strategic plan seems to recognize administrative autonomy to areas where minorities are concentrated, as part of a progressive affirmation of the independence project. For this reason, minority groups are also asked to engage militarily alongside the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the liberation of Mosul and lands still in the hands of jihadists.
The conquest of Mosul and Nineveh Plain by the Daesh caused approximately 120 thousand Christians to flee, most of whom are still displaced as refugees in Erbil and other areas of Iraqi Kurdistan. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 19/07/2016)