The Future of Iraq – Patriarch Louis Raphaël Sako I
• Summary of an address of HB Sako Berlin, 17-19 October 2016 released by the Chaldean Patriarchate Media
His Beatitude Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako accompanied by His Excellency, the Auxiliary Bishop Basilio Yaldo, participated in a Task Force to Discuss the Future of Iraq on 17 -19 Oct 2017, Berlin - Germany
The meeting was organized by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, which is affiliated with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in Germany. The moderator was the US Ambassador, Mr. Ryan Crocker. The topic was, as Mr. Crocker stated, to present a vision to the new American administration about the future of Iraq and especially that of its minorities.
In the presentation H.B. the Patriarch focused on:
1. Certain areas of Iraq are still occupied by ISIS (Daesh), where civilians are killed, slaughtered, displaced in millions, homes are ruined and infrastructure destroyed on daily basis, serving the Western political agenda. Therefore, the “responsible” Western countries should make an effort to stop such daily suffering of our people, support the liberation of all our lands and enhance the chances of reconciliation by pursuing a peaceful resolution of the conflicts. We hope the liberation of Mosul and the Nineveh plain that has started can be successful. I hope there will be a clear, wise and unified vision based on reality which will enable to avoid the following mess, and to help achieving peace in order to bring back stability to this part of the world and to stop the bloodsheds, the damages and the tragedy of refugees. I hope the liberation of Mosul and the Nineveh plain that has started can be successful. This is a sign of hope for all of us.
2. After the liberation and the end of these conflicts, the involved Western governments should assist the refugees in returning to their homes; securing areas of conflict; providing full protection for them; restoring their rights and properties; contributing to the reconstruction of towns and cities; compensating the resulted damages and helping the restoration of the cultural and religious heritage of all its components.
3. Then, Iraqis will be able to outline a realistic vision for their future, based on an overall national reform and development roadmap, through a civil and quiet dialogue that takes into account their national, ethical and political convictions, distant from the mentality of conflict and revenge.
4. In Iraq the establishment of a standard of citizenship in which all persons are integrated in dignity and equality regardless of their religion or ethnicity is needed. UN and other institutions should push for the change of some points of the constitution and the respect of human rights. Freedom and democracy are a purpose for all. No force in the world can impose it through weapons. Religion and state must be separated.
Regarding the situation of Christians, H.B. stressed the importance for Christians of being wise, rational and realistic, stopping neutrality and hands-off policy, but rather taking responsibility in participating and having a positive impact on making changes consistent with their aspiration. In this way Christians can obtain their rights and be freed from discrimination and intolerance through a dialogue with their partners in the homeland.
H.B. Concluded that in order for Christians to survive it is necessary for them to engage in the political process and to participate energetically in activities that pursue the building and the developing of the homeland based on citizenship, respect of the laws and responsibilities, and the diffusion of equality, freedom and national partnership values.
Briefly, what we need is to be encouraged to stay in our homeland hoping for a promising future. Iraqi Christians love their land where their roots date as far back as thousands of years and would like to stay here, no matter what.
+Louis Raphaël Sako I
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