For a Stable Future of Religious Diversity in Iraq

Delegation from the Region Kurdistan-Iraq in Berlin, Germany

Delegation aus Kurdistan-Irak
The organizers with the delegation from the Region Kurdistan-Iraq in the Germany Parliament

At the invitation of the ojcos foundation, the Central Council of the Êzîds in Germany and the Hanns Seidel Foundation, a high-ranking delegation from the Region Kurdistan-Iraq came to Berlin for political talks from June 22-24, 2022.

In addition to appointments at the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the office of the Federal Government Commissioner for Freedom of Religion, the focus was on an intensive exchange with members of the Germany Parliament from different parties on the question: What measures can German policy take to promote peaceful coexistence between the religions and ethnic groups in Iraq in the long term?

Ano Abdoka, Minister of Transport and Communications, Soud Msto, Generaldirector General of Yazidi Affairs at the Ministry of Religion, and Hoshyar Siwaily, Head of the Foreign Relations Office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, provided helpful insights and answered many questions. They also spoke on behalf of the people of their religious community, as Christian, Yezidi and Muslim.

from left to right: Ano Abdoka, Hoshyar Siwaily, Soud Msto

In order to avoid a further exodus from the country and to develop stability, they said, security and jobs were a crucial factor. Together, they strongly advocated an extension of the German Armed Forces‘ mission in Iraq. Their presence is fundamentally important, above all as moral support, and contributes to the much-needed hope in the country.

They called on the German government to put pressure on the Iraqi central government to fully implement the Sinjar Agreement of 2020 in order to ensure security and stability in the region and the return of Yazidi refugees there. In addition, the Iraqi central government should be encouraged to implement the federal structures anchored in the constitution in reality.

The representatives from the Region Kurdistan-Iraq concluded by thanking the German government for its military equipment for the Kurdish Peshmerga from 2014 in their fight against the so-called Islamic State. This had made a significant contribution to stopping the advance of the terrorist militia and the genocide of the Yazidis.

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