European Parliamentarian to ADO Delegation: I suggested to Maliki to Grant the Interior Ministry to Christians; We are Concerned about the Targeting of Iraqi Christians

ado_ep_mauro_20110208_021.jpg By Santa Mikail
On Tuesday, February 8, 2011, European Parliamentarian Mario Mauro of the European People’s Party (EPP) group, met with a delegation of the Assyrian Democratic Organization (ADO/Mtakasta) which included Mr. Ablahad Astepho (Director of ADO European Branch) and Mr. Georges Chachan (Head of the ADO Belgium).

The two sides discussed the situation of our Assyrian people (Chaldeans, Syriacs) in Iraq and the growing wave of violence against them, which is threatening their existence in the homeland. They exchanged views and concrete steps to strengthen the existence and survival of our people in their historical homeland.

Representative Mauro expressed his concern with the targeting and escalating violence against Christians, as well as, his distress with the growing phenomenon of religious and sectarian violence in Iraq. He also stressed the European Union’s efforts to protect religious minorities in Iraq and ways to reduce migration.

Rep. Mauro revealed a letter he had sent to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, asking him to take serious and concrete measures to ensure the protection of our people, where he proposed to al-Maliki granting the Interior Ministry to the Christians, as a strong gesture to reassure the Christians and encourage them to remain in Iraq.

Mauro stressed the importance of urging the EU to ask the UN to adopt an aid program for Christian refugees and encourage them to return home; stressing the importance of growing the economy and promoting development by supporting European investments throughout Iraq. He also focused on the important role of Iraqi media, saying “An Iraqi has the right to know what is happening in his country through the Iraqi media, and not only by Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya.”

Mauro also revealed that soon the EU will appoint an ambassador to Iraq, who will be European Parliamentarian Jana Hybášková (Czech), describing her as a “strong woman with good knowledge of Iraqi society.”

ADO Representative Mr. Ablahad Astepho warned of the danger of emptying Iraq of its indigenous Assyrian population (Chaldeans, Syriacs) and other minorities, stressing the importance of serious and concrete steps to protect our people and encourage refugees to return. While discussing the partnership agreement between Iraq and the EU, Mr. Astepho stressed that the agreement must include and address the aspirations of our people, ensure their rights, provide the necessary protection for them, and to achieve our political demands.

At the conclusion of the meeting, European Parliamentarian Mario Mauro expressed his appreciation and gratitude for the efforts of the Assyrian Democratic Organization and coordination with the European Parliament and its committees, to address the issues of Middle East Christians.