ASIA/IRAQ - Kurdish President Barzani announces his resignation; Church concerned over the controversy around the Nineveh Plain

Monday, 30 October 2017 middle east   oriental churches   nationalisms   geopolitics   kurds  

Ankawa.com

Mosul (Agenzia Fides) - The Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate and the Chaldean Patriarchate expressed their concern for the recent events registered in the Nineveh Plain, the area of traditional roots of Christian communities that have become subject to territorial controversy and also a military confrontation between the central government of Baghdad and the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan. Recent clashes between government troops and Kurdish Peshmerga troops responding to Kurdistan's regional government – reports the Syrian-Orthodox Patriarch in a document released on Sunday, 29 October - have provoked the flight of hundreds of Christian families who had just returned to their homes in the towns of Telkaif and Baqofa. The victory against Daesh – stressed the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate - was made possible by the co-ordination between the Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga and by the sacrifice shared by Kurds and Arabs. And now the governments of Baghdad and Erbil have to meet on the basis of that same spirit of cooperation, to break, through dialogue, the points of contrast and work for the benefit of the peoples of the whole region.
Similar recommendations were made by the Chaldean Patriarchate in a widespread document on Sunday 29 October to express their vision of the future of the Christian cities of the Nineveh Plain. In the document, the Chaldean Patriarchate notes that «the jurisdiction on the Nineveh plain, unified, stable and protected until 2003, is today disputed between the Iraqi government and Kurdish forces». It recalls the recent clashes that counterposed the Iraqi army and popular army mobilization groups - mostly Shiites - aginst the Kurdish Peshmerga. The Chaldean Patriarchate calls for an end to the jurisdictional controversy underway on the Nineveh Plain, returning to the pre-2003 situation, when the central government had regained control over the entire region; And recommends framing all local militias and armed groups - often organized on ethnic-religious grounds - in the national army and in the federal security forces.
On Sunday, 29 October, President of the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan, Masud Barzani, also issued a letter to confirm his intention to resign next November 1, at the end of his current mandate, refusing to consider any extensions of his position, as suggested by some of his supporters. In the evening, during a televised appearance, Barzani also accused the United States of not having firmly supported the prospect of the full independence of Kurdistan, affirmed by the plebiscite results of the pro-independence referendum held on September 25th. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 30/10/2017)


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