Today, Governor Atrushi and his delegation met the Undersecretary for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State at the Holy See Mgr. Antoine Camilleri, accompanied by High Representative Mrs. Rezan Kader.
Mgr. Camilleri thanked the Kurdish Regional Government for welcoming Cardinal Filoni last august as special envoy of the Holy See. The Vatican is deeply concerned with the conditions of the Christian community, but also with the humanitarian needs of the peoples who are affected by the violence in the territory, who have been living in this area for generations with mutual respect and tolerance. For this reason, it is necessary to re-establish together the peaceful cohabitation as soon as possible.
The Governor of Dohuk stated that an unprecedented humanitarian emergency is currently going on in the area. There are nearly two millions of refugees, whose 700.000 just in the Governorate of Dohuk, with increasing exigencies: food, shelters, healthcare. Hospitals host refugees, like every other public building. Moreover, in order to stop the ISIS and grant new peace and stability in the Region and the whole area, political support and heavy military equipment for Kurdish peshmergas are needed, besides humanitarian aid.
Governor Atrushi went on to express the desire of his Government, and the people as a whole, for a visit of the Holy Father, who would bring comfort to the Kurdish people who are living through these dark times.
The Governor then visited Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, who had flown to Kurdistan on august 2014 as a special envoy of the Holy See to visit the villages where refugees stayed. Among them were Christians, Yazidis, etc. Cardinal Filoni expressed his gratitude to the Kurdish Regional Government for both welcoming him on his visit and providing shelters to all minority groups who have been living in this area for centuries and are now forced to leave their homes by the violence of the ISIS.
After describing the current situation in the Region and the priorities that the humanitarian emergency determined, the Governor told Cardinal Filoni about his wish for a conference with representatives of all religions, in order to ease mutual understanding, and a visit of the Holy Father, who would be of immense consolation for the Kurdish people, in this delicate moment.