Shafaq News / Iraqi President, Abdullatif Jamal Rashid, described the relation between Erbil and Baghdad on Saturday as "good," affirming the willingness of both sides to resolve disputes and outstanding issues.
The Presidency stated today that Rashid, along with the First Lady, Shanaaz Ibrahim Ahmed, met with His Holiness Pope Francis, the Vatican Pope, in Vatican City.
The statement added that at the outset of the meeting, the President expressed gratitude to His Holiness for visiting Iraq, emphasizing that Iraqis fondly remember and cherish his visit, embodying the concepts of peaceful coexistence and the deep ties among religions inside and outside Iraq.
He pointed out that "our region needs to consolidate the foundations of fraternity and generous human relations," stressing the importance of concerted efforts to enhance the principles of dialogue, cooperation, and collaborative work among peoples. He noted that the Vatican's calls, prayers, and public messages have a spiritual impact on leaning towards calming down, engaging in dialogue, and strengthening understanding.
Rashid also stated that "Iraq has made significant progress in establishing security and political stability. Our current priorities shift towards providing services, improving the living standards of citizens, rehabilitating infrastructure, and developing the economy to achieve comprehensive development."
He affirmed that "Iraq is keen on promoting democracy, pluralism, and respecting rights and freedoms," indicating that the relationship between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is good, and there is a willingness on both sides to resolve outstanding issues per the constitution and the law.
The Iraqi President addressed the situation of Christians, asserting that they are an essential component in building and advancing the country. The government is eager to facilitate the return of displaced Christians, Yazidis, and other components to their areas and resolve this humanitarian issue by providing decent living conditions for them, safeguarding Christian presence, and protecting diversity. He also emphasized that the doors of the Presidency are open to Christians to consider their demands and issues to secure their livelihoods and stability.
Additionally, he highlighted Iraq's good relations with neighboring and global countries, based on mutual respect and common interests.
Regarding the situation in Palestine and Gaza, the Iraqi President strongly denounced the ongoing violations and aggression against Palestinians, urging the international community to exert more efforts to stop aggression, protect civilians, and ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid.
For his part, His Holiness the Pope welcomed the visit of the Iraqi President, confirming the Vatican's support for Iraq's efforts to strengthen ties between religions and components.
He pointed out His appreciation for the role of the Christian component in enhancing harmony, unity, and their sacrifices for a prosperous and developed Iraq while maintaining their national identity.
His Holiness also emphasized the importance of enhancing peace opportunities globally, as wars signify failure, according to the presidential statement.