Iraqi President and First Lady meet Pope Francis in Vatican City

Iraq 03:31 PM - 2023-11-18
  Iraqi President, First Lady meet Pope Francis in Vatican City Iraqi President's Media Office

Iraqi President, First Lady meet Pope Francis in Vatican City

Iraq Iraqi President

Iraqi President Dr. Abdullatif Jamal Rashid, alongside the First Lady, Shanaz Ibrahim Ahmed, arrived in Vatican City on Saturday, November 18, 2023, and met with His Holiness Pope Francis.

President Rashid conveyed his gratitude to Pope Francis for his visit to Iraq, emphasizing that the Iraqi people hold fond and proud memories of this visit. They saw it as a manifestation of the principles of harmonious coexistence and the profound interfaith connections both within and beyond the borders of Iraq.

"The consolidation of the foundation of brotherhood and tolerant human ties is imperative for our region," he said, emphasizing the importance of collective efforts aimed at reinforcing the values of dialogue, cooperation, and collaborative efforts among diverse populations, as well as the Vatican's invitations, prayers, and messages, which promote tranquility, dialogue, and mutual understanding.

He also emphasized that Iraq has made significant progress in establishing security and political stability and that the focus now is on providing essential services, improving citizens' quality of life, rehabilitating infrastructure, and fostering economic growth as a means of achieving holistic development.

President Rashid also stressed that Iraq is keen to promote democracy, pluralism, and respect for rights and freedoms, noting that the relationship between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government is good and there is a will on both sides to resolve the outstanding issues following the constitution and the law.

Furthermore, he addressed the situation of Christians, highlighting their critical role in nation-building, societal growth, and economic prosperity. He emphasized that the government is committed to facilitating the return of displaced Christians, Yazidis, and other communities to their home regions and that resolving this humanitarian issue entails ensuring these individuals have the resources they need for a dignified existence, preserving the presence of Christians, and promoting diversity. President Rashid further remarked that the Presidency of the Republic encourages Christians to express their worries and frustrations to ensure their well-being and stability.

Additionally, President Rashid emphasized that Iraq maintains favorable diplomatic ties with its neighboring countries and the international community, which are founded upon principles of mutual respect and shared interests. He then addressed the situation in Palestine and Gaza, expressing Iraq's firm condemnation of the continuous violations and aggression towards the Palestinian people and urging the international community to intensify its efforts to halt the aggression, safeguard civilian lives, and ensure unimpeded humanitarian assistance.

His Holiness, Pope Francis gave a warm reception to the visit of His Excellency the President, emphasizing the Vatican City's endorsement of Iraq's efforts to foster interreligious and intercommunal relations. Additionally, the Pope made mention of the Christian community's contribution to fostering harmony and cooperation, their selfless acts for the betterment and advancement of Iraq, and their commitment to upholding the nation's collective identity.

He also focused on the importance of enhancing opportunities for peace in the world, since wars mean failure.


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