Foreign Minister Meets Holy See Foreign Minister

Iraq Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mon, Dec 5, 2016

Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Ibrahim Al-Jaafari met Foreign Minister of Vatican Arch. Paul Richard Gallagher, during the meeting the two sides reviewed the bilateral relations and horizons to promote them to meet the aspirations of the two peoples.

The Minister talked about the fate-determining battle that Iraq is waging on the terrorist gangs of Da'esh, stressing:" the Iraqi armed forces with its different factions are achieving victories and great progress in Mosul. 70% of Nineveh territories have been liberated and are under the control of Iraqi security forces. The Iraqi forces also regain control over three roads link Syria with Mosul to ensure that those terrorists will not run away, to capture and kill them."

His Excellency the number of displaced is much smaller than expected before the launch of Mosul liberation operation, indicating that the military operations need further time, due to the fact that Da'esh thugs have used civilians as human shields.

"Iraq is currently concerned about the post Da'esh phase. Iraqi society is united and coherent in order to defend Mosul and other Iraqi cities. All religions have common bases of respecting the human being and his dignity, and spread the culture of peace. While, Da'esh spread the culture of hatred, displacement and murder. It excluded no religion, starting from Muslims, then Christians, and Yazidis. All religions have unanimously rejected the acts of those terrorists," HE Dr Al-Jaafari.

His Excellency extended invitation to Bishop of Rome Pope Francis, and foreign minister of Vatican to visit Iraq.

His Excellency asserted the need to activate the Supreme permanent Committee for Dialogue between Iraq Endowments and the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, and held a second meeting in Baghdad, indicating:" Iraq is the confluence of religions. We are waiting for the second group of the Christian pilgrims to the historic city of Ur, in accordance with the signed bilateral agreement."

While, Foreign Minister of Vatican asserted Holy See's pursuant support towards Iraq and its desire to strengthen relations with Iraq, and that the Holy See is working on preserving the cultural heritage in Syria and Iraq. Arch. Paul Richard Gallagher commended victories achieved by the Iraqi security forces against the terrorist gangs of Da'esh in Mosul, saying:" it's a great opportunity for returning the Christians to the city after liberating it, and an important occasion for Pope Francis to visit Iraq". HE Gallagher expressed the hope that peace and security would return to the Middle East, particularly, Iraq.

The two sides agreed over singing Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of Iraq and the Holy See, especially, concerning high profile political consultations between the two foreign ministries to have coordination in stances in international conferences and seminars, as well as, having cooperation between the two ministries' Foreign Service Institutes, and that the second group of Christian pilgrims to the historic city of Ur are to arrive.

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