ARBACO-ILO, Iraq — A Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian delegation participated in the 2nd Annual Erbil Forum, which was held from 28 February to 2 March in Arbca-Ilo (Erbil), Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).
On the sidelines of the forum, President of the International Religious Freedom Secretariat and former Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Nadine Maenza, in cooperation with the SEED Kurdistan Foundation, which focuses on supporting survivors of conflict, organized a roundtable discussion on international religious freedom.
The discussion was attended by religious figures and heads of political parties, including head of the Bethnahrin Patriotic Union (Huyodo Bethnahrin Athroyom, HBA) Yousef Yaqoub Matti and Mayor of Baghdede Issam Behnam Matti.
They discussed religious freedom in Iraq and the KRI and highlighted the importance of coexistence between religious and ethnic components. They also discussed ways to overcome obstacles and achieve equality in rights and duties among all religions and denominations.
Yousef Matti and Issam Matti touched on the rights of the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people and the ethnic cleansing they have been subjected to throughout history, in addition to their rights to sovereign positions in the governments of Baghdad and Arbaco-Ilo.