IRAQ: Delegation of Belgian MPs and organization for victims of terrorism meets with Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian political parties and civil society organizations

ANKAWA, Iraq – A Belgian delegation including Fhilippe Vansteenkiste, founder and Director of the Belgian interest group for victims of terrorism V-Europe, and Belgian Members of Parliament Georges Dallemagne (Centre Démocrate Humaniste) and Koen Metsu (Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie), last Thursday, met with Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian political leaders and representatives of social organizations at the Social Academic Center in Ankawa, northern Iraq.

The Belgian delegation came to be informed about past issues of terrorism and repression and the current situation in Iraq of the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people.

The Belgian delegation members elaborated on their role and intentions to convey the sufferings and violations against the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people and to transfer their message and discuss their national demands with the European Union and the Belgian parliament.

V-Europe Director Vansteenkiste focused on the terrorist acts of the last years in Europe and the suffering of victims of terrorism. He emphasized his organizations support for all victims of terrorism, killings, and forced displacement that has also befallen the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people over the past decades, including the aftermath of atrocities suffered under terrorist organization ISIS, displacement, kidnappings, and ongoing demographic change in the Nineveh Plain.

The meeting was attended by Ankawa district officials, the Syriac Minister of Transportation and Communication in the Kurdistan Regional Government Ano Abdoka, political leaders, officials of Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian civil society organizations, and the President of the Bethnahrain Patriotic Union Yusef Yahqub Matti.

President of the Bethnahrain Patriotic Union Yusuf Yahqub Matti

The President of the Bethnahrain Patriotic Union Yusuf Yahqub Matti in his speech elaborated to the Belgian delegation on his people’s long and cruel suffering under demographic change and ethnic cleansing from 1915 to the present day:

“from the Sayfo Genocide of 1915 by the Ottoman-Turks and Kurds to Simele in 1933, Sorya in 1969, Anfal in 1988, the suicide attack on the Syriac Catholic Church of Our Lady of Deliverance in 2010, the displacement of the Christian Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians from Baghdad between 2005 (~700 thousand) and 2014 (~50 thousand), the displacement of Basra residents (2006-present) and Kerkheslokh (Kirkuk, since 2005), and finally the displacement and atrocities against our people in Mosul and the Nineveh Plains from 2004-2017 at the hands of ISIS.”

“More than 1,700 Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian and Armenian Christian citizens were killed, and all their economic, social, cultural, security, religious, educational and educational structures were destroyed.”

Yusuf Yahqub Matti referred to the June 2017 Brussels Conference “A Future for Christians in Iraq” and the support by several political parties in the European Parliament for the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian national cause. Yahqub Matti also referred to the February 2018 resolution of the European Parliament in support of the establishment of an Autonomous Administration for the Yazidi and Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian peoples in Shingal (Sinjar) and the Nineveh Plain.

Yusuf Yahqub Matti stressed the need of the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people to have friends and supporters in the Belgian, national, and European parliaments who help them find ways to secure their constitutional rights and national aspirations.