Chaldean Patriarch and US officials discuss Iraq’s future and plight of Christians

BAGHDAD — Chaldean Patriarch Mor Louis Raphael Sako held a meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf and US Ambassador to Iraq Alina Romanowski at the Patriarchal Palace in Baghdad.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed the current situation in Iraq, particularly the country’s political and social divisions. They emphasized the importance of conducting a constructive and civilized dialogue in which all parties participate responsibly and confidently to strengthen state institutions. They also discussed the urgent need to combat corruption, extremism, and violence while building a brighter future for Iraq.

The group delved into the current problems in the towns of Nineveh Plains and the struggles to control the region, which have caused many Christians to emigrate due to their loss of confidence in the future. Once numbering one and a half million, only half a million Christians remain in Iraq today.

Patriarch Sako highlighted the importance of reconciliation between the conflicting parties in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), as conflicts have negative consequences for everyone. He also spoke about the suffering of Iraqi Christians, who have been displaced since 2014 due to the terrorism of the Islamic State (ISIS), the lack of political representation, and the marginalization of their historic pioneering role.

The meeting ended with a shared commitment to work towards peace, stability, and prosperity in Iraq, and to support the country’s diverse communities in their efforts to build a brighter future.