On October 16, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Mr. Anou Jawhar Abdoka, Minister of Public Transport in Kurdistan – Iraq, at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh – Lebanon.
His Holiness welcomed His Excellency and discussed with him the current situation. His Holiness emphasized the importance of preserving the Christian presence in the Middle East despite the difficulties. He stressed that Christians ensure the diversity in the societies of this region. His Holiness encouraged the efforts that lead to strengthening the sense of partnership and citizenship which leads to a stronger attachment to the land.
In turn, His Excellency Minister Abdoka spoke about the efforts that the Government of Kurdistan is doing, under the leadership of His Excellency Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, to deepen the relationships among all the components of the society. He also spoke about the role of the Christian religious leaders in protecting the Christian heritage and active presence of Christians in the Middle East.
His Eminence Archbishop Mor Dioscoros Benjamin Atas, Patriarchal Vicar in Sweden, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, attended the meeting.