ASIA/IRAQ - Pressure continues to involve Christians in the referendum on independence in Kurdistan

Wednesday, 26 July 2017 oriental churches   middle east   nationalisms   geopolitics  


Erbil (Agenzia Fides) - Political leaders of the autonomous Region of Iraqi Kurdistan continue to manifest in various ways the intention to involve Christians in support of the referendum convened for next September 25 in order to proclaim full independence from Baghdad. On Tuesday, 25 July, Fuad Hussein, head of the presidential staff of the autonomous Region of Iraqi Kurdistan, wanted to meet some representatives of political organizations promoted by activists and Christian leaders in the region to discuss their level of involvement and representation in the committee that is preparing the referendum in September. The meeting - according to local sources - was summoned after some political group leaders promoted by Christians had publicly expressed dissatisfaction regarding the co-opting within the pro-referendum committee of Wahid Hurmuz, a person who in their opinion, was presented as “representative” of the Christian component. The proposal made by Fuad Hussein to his interlocutors was to indicate two people within two days who could be involved in the referendum committee as representatives of local groups of Christian origin.
The episode confirmed indirectly that the Kurdish leadership of the autonomous Region of Iraqi Kurdistan pursues the plan to involve Christian components in the independent cause. At the same time, it has once again shown that Christian policy-makers cannot present themselves as a unitary component and pursue different interests and objectives: in fact, during the meeting with Hussein, Romeo Hakkari, president of the Bethnahrein party was present, but representatives of the Assyrian Democratic Movement and the Abnaa al Nahrein Party ("The Children of Mesopotamia") did not attend the meeting. There is a tendency not to take into account the many appeals - also from Chaldean Patriarch Louis Rahael Sako - to unite the forces of Christians even in politics, acting as a unitary Christian component. "Now", said the Primate of the Chaldean Church in an interview with Agenzia Fides in early May, "the priority is to support the return of refugees, the reconstruction of cities and villages devastated by the war. We must not think about major projects, which, however, appear to have little realism, in an uncertain phase, also marked by the will of an autonomous state pursued by the Kurds". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 26/7/2017)