European Union External Action

EUAM discussed minority issues with H.E Apostolic Nuncio to Iraq

28/03/2019 - 11:25
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The Head of Mission of EUAM Iraq Dr. Markus Ritter met with H.E. Alberto Ortega Martin, the Apostolic Nuncio to Iraq.

EUAM Iraq has engaged with civil society actors such as religious leaders since its inception in 2017. This is in line with the EU’s policy commitment to support and engage with civil society to support Security Sector Reform (SSR).

The Iraqi Christian population has decreased from 1.5 million in 2003 to around 300,000 today. Many Christians in the country have fled to the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe with the hope for a better for their children.

- It is hard for them to return, since many Christians still feel unsecure in Iraq. Some Christians fled to the neighboring countries such as Jordan. I hope that they are able to return one day. We need to make sure that they are fully recognized as citizens of Iraq, their homes are rebuilt and that they don’t face any discrimination in the society, Archbishop Ortega says.

The partial opening of the green zone, known as the international zone in Baghdad can be seen as an indication of a relatively improved security situation in the city.

- Despite the defeat of ISIS much remains to be done in order to ensure security and stability in Iraq. However, Iraq is currently in a good phase and the country has a lot of potential. Mutual dialogue with different ethnicities and religious groups is a key to success, Archbishop Ortega states.

EUAM Iraq continues to support ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq as part of the Mission’s civil society strategy.

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