IRAQ: PM Al-Kadhimi completes Cabinet. Syriac-Chaldean Evan Yaqoob appointed Minister

BAGHDAD, Iraq – In a second vote of confidence, the remaining seven out of twenty-two ministers were approved by Iraqi Parliament to join Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s cabinet. With yesterday’s nominations, former head of the Iraqi intelligence services Mustafa al-Kadhimi completed his national cabinet of independent or individual lawmakers from different denominations, affiliations, and sectors.

Important ministerial positions went to Ihsan Abdul Jabbar (Oil), Fuad Hussein (Foreign Affairs; KDP) and Salar Abdul Sattar (Justice; PUK). No Iraqi from the substantial Yazidi component was nominated for minister.

Now that the most important cabinet seats are occupied, the Iraqi Prime Minister stated on his Twitter account :

“My cabinet is now complete with today’s vote. This is vital in implementing our program and delivering on our commitments to our people – who are waiting for actions, not words. I thank parliament for renewing its confidence. We will move forward with optimism and fortitude.”

Syriac-Chaldean nominee Evan Faeq Yaqoob Jabro received the confidence vote for the Ministry of Migration and Displacement. Mrs. Evan Yaqoob will face many challenges. Iraq still hosts hundreds of thousands war-torn IDPs from especially Sinjar, Mosul, and the Nineveh Plains. These IDPs are in urgent need of the most basic existential services.

The Kurdish Region in Iraq hosts many of these IDPs, among them tens of thousands of Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians from the Nineveh Plains and Mosul. Northern Iraq and the Kurdish Region also host more than 200,000 thousand Syrian refugees who fled from North and East Syria to Iraq after the invasion of the Democratic Autonomous Administration.

The number of Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians in Iraq numbered an estimated 1,5 million pre-2003. Although no official numbers are available, the current number is an estimated 250-350 thousand.

The Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people in Iraq is one people subdivided into several church communities. The Chaldean Church of Babylon is the biggest Syriac church in Iraq followed by the Syriac Catholic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Church of the East and the Ancient Church of the East.

The mother tongue of the Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians is Syriac, or native Suryoyo/Suryaya/Sureth/Surayt.