BASRA, Iraq — Syriac Catholic Patriarch Mor Ignatius Youssef III Younan paid an official visit to Basra Governor Asaad al-Eidani on Thursday. Patriarch Younan’s visit to Basra was the final stop on his tour across the country which saw him visit all of Iraq’s 19 governorates to encourage interfaith dialogue and partake in religious ceremonies with Syriacs (Arameans–Assyrians–Chaldeans) in all parts of the country.
Patriarch Younan was accompanied by Minister of Migration and Displaced Mrs. Evan Faiq Jabro, Archbishop Mor Athanasius Firas Darder, Archbishop Mor Youhanna Butros Moshe, Archbishop Mor Aphrem Youssef Abba, Archbishop Mor Yacoub Aphrem Samaan, Monsignor Habib Murad, and Father Karim Kalsh. They were greeted by Basra Governor Asaad al-Eidani.
During his visit, the Patriarch appointed Mor Athanasius Firas Darder as Archbishop of the Diocese of Basra.
The Patriarch also noted that his first apostolic visit to Basra emphasizes the importance of fraternal coexistence between all the region’s peoples, safeguarding the Christian presence in the governorate, and the appointment of an Archbishop of the Diocese of Basra as an invitation to all Christians to come and return to the region.
Governor al-Eidani said during the visit that Basra is an incubator for peaceful and true coexistence of all communities, and today the people of Basra are happy for the visit of the Syriac Catholic Patriarch. Al-Eidani stressed that the appointment of an Archbishop in the governorate was an important step in the return of Christians to the governorate and he welcomed them to come to Basra where they will find the people as brothers.