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Parliament’s Religious Affairs Committee in Italy and Belgium meet government officials and religious organizations

Parliament’s Endowments and Religious Affairs Committee from 17 to 24 October 2021 in Italy and Belgium met with government officials and religious organizations to highlight the importance of the peaceful coexistence between different religious and ethnic communities in Kurdistan Region, and to discuss issues of mutual concern.

Meetings with Italian and Vatican government officials

In Italy, the committee met with Under-Secretary Monsignor Mirosław Stanisław Wachowski of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State Section for the States; the Italian Prime Minister’s special envoy on confronting racism; the Italian Foreign Ministry's envoy for Greater Middle East Affairs; and the St. Egido Foundation for Peace.

Monsignor Mirosław Stanisław Wachowski, the Vatican’s Under-Secretary of the Section for the States, reiterated support for the Kurdistan Region in confronting terrorism and bringing religions closer together. He commended Kurdistan for its peaceful coexistence which is a model for the Middle East and for providing a safe haven for Christians who fled from ISIS.

Under-Secretary Wachowski said, "Hosting refugees is greatly valued and appreciated by the Vatican and is a matter of interest and importance. We will continue to support the Kurdistan Region."

Meetings in Belgium

In Belgium, the Kurdistan Parliament Committee met with MPs from the Parliament of Wallonia, the head of the Middle East section of the EU Commission, officials at Belgium’s Foreign Ministry, and the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Union. The committee also visited the KRG Representation in Brussels, where they met the KRG Representative Dlavar Ajgeiy.

The Kurdistan Parliament MPs highlighted Kurdistan Region’s peaceful coexistence, and the political representation and protection of the rights of Kurdistan Region’s different original religious and ethnic communities under Law No. 5 of 2015.

They also discussed the Peshmerga forces’ essential role in helping to defeat ISIS, which was greatly appreciated by the Italian and Belgian officials.

Other topics were Pope Francis’s historic visit to Iraq and Kurdistan Region, where the Pope held a large open-air mass, the threats against Christians in Iraq, achieving greater international recognition for the genocide against the Yazidis, efforts to normalize the situation in Shengal so that IDPs can return home, the KRG’s recent decision to make the Christian area of Ankawa an independent administrative unit, Christians and other minorities’ participation in the drafting the Kurdistan Constitution.