Iraqi President Rashid meets Pope Francis, affirms commitment to Christian integration and national harmony

VATICAN — Iraqi President Abdul Latif Jamal Rashid met with Pope Francis during the visit of an Iraqi delegation to the Vatican.

In a statement from the Iraqi presidency, Rashid underscored the vital role of Christians in Iraq’s development, emphasizing their significance in the nation’s progress and prosperity. During his visit, Rashid highlighted the government’s dedication to facilitating the return of displaced Christians and Yezidis to their respective areas.

President Rashid expressed the Iraqi presidency’s commitment to addressing the concerns of Christians, ensuring their demands are considered, and securing a dignified life for them. He further emphasized Iraq’s commitment to fostering democracy, pluralism, and the protection of rights and freedoms.

Rashid affirmed the positive relationship between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, with both entities eager to resolve outstanding issues in accordance with the constitution and the law.

Expressing gratitude, Rashid thanked Pope Francis for his visit to Iraq in 2021, recalling the significance of the visit in promoting coexistence and deepening bonds between religions both inside and outside Iraq.

In response, Pope Francis reiterated the Vatican’s support for Iraq’s endeavors to strengthen ties among religions and ethnic communities, recognizing the role of Christians in fostering harmony and collaboration.

The Pope acknowledged the sacrifices made by Christians for a prosperous Iraq and their unwavering commitment to national identity. Emphasizing the global importance of peace, Pope Francis stressed that wars signify failure and called for collective efforts to strengthen the prospects of global peace.