BasNews, a Kurdish news outlet, reported that earlier this week, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraqi Kurdistan, Nechirvan Barzani, was granted a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican in Rome.
The Prime Minister’s private meeting with the Holy See lasted a quarter of an hour. The Kurdish Prime Minster was accompanied by the deputy prime minister, the religious affairs minister, the head of the Department of Foreign Relations and one woman, Mrs. Rezan Kader, who serves as the High Representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Italy.
The Prime Minister and the Pope discussed the threat posed by ISIS, and the continuing fight against the militants, reiterating that an international coalition is needed to defeat the group.
Barzani explained that ISIS has forced people of different faiths to flee their homes across the region, and that these people now live together in Kurdistan in peace. He explained how the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), and the people of Kurdistan have received them and treated them with humanity.
The Kurdish Prime Minister explained to the Pope that the KRG would continue to support these refugees as much as possible, but that the sheer number of IDPs in Kurdistan has put exceptional pressure on the government. Barzani asked Pope Francis to encourage international community to provide more humanitarian aid.
Pope Francis recognised the KRG’s humanitarian efforts, and praised the atmosphere in Kurdistan that has provided equality for people from different religious backgrounds.[Read more at BasNews]