After the Pope’s visit to Iraq, an inter-ministerial committee is working on his suggestions

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An inter-ministerial committee has been commissioned by the Iraqi government to work on the implementation of suggestions and proposals that emerged during Pope Francis’ recent visit to Iraq. The news has been confirmed on Tuesday by the Arab newspaper Al Araby Al Jadeed, quoting generic and anonymous “high-level sources” of the Iraqi government.

The recommendations contained in the dossier at the center of the work of the Government Committee – the same sources affirmed, also referring to the talks of Pope Francis with Iraqi President Barham Salih and with Premier Mustafa al Kadhimi during the papal visit – aim to suggest solutions problems of security, economic sustainability and post-war reconstruction that weigh in particular on the condition of Christian communities and other social components, especially in the governorates of Nineveh and Baghdad.

The government sources, cited by the UK-based newspaper and reported by the Catholic agency Fides, refer in particular to the problems relating to security and attributed to the persistence of militias organized on a sectarian basis still operating in the Governorate of Nineveh and in the plain that leads the same name, an area of historical roots of the indigenous Christian communities. The dossier being studied by the Government Committee would also include the question of real estate properties illegally stolen in recent years from Christian families forced by conflicts and violence to move to other areas of the country or to emigrate abroad.

On 8 March the pontiff’s three-day mission in Iraq ended, where a pilgrim of peace and hope arrived under the slogan “You are all brothers”. A historic visit, the first of a Pontiff in the Gulf country and a nation with a Shiite majority. A long-desired pilgrimage to embrace a people who have suffered so much but have also developed a great desire for redemption and a future of peace.

In the overflight telegrams to the countries and the respective peoples of Iraq, Turkey, Greece, Albania, and Italy, Pope Francis invoked blessings. In particular, addressing the “beloved Iraqi people”, the Pope thanked the president “for the warm welcome and generous hospitality” during his stay as well as reiterating his prayers “for the peace, unity and prosperity of the nation.” At the greetings to the Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, on the other hand, reaffirmed the heart of his journey, in which he was able to meet Christians and representatives of other religions, witnessing the commitment to deepen, in a spirit of sharing, a journey of dialogue and tolerance.

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