Shafaq News / Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said on Sunday that the Kurdistan Region is a land of coexistence and reconciliation between all national and religious components, while expressing concern over Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid's decision to revoke Presidential Decree No. 147 of 2013 on the Chaldean Church in Baghdad.
According to a statement, this occurred during Barzani’s reception of the head of the Chaldean Church in Iraq and the world, Cardinal Louis Sako, and his accompanying delegation, which included several bishops, at the Saladin resort in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region.
According to the statement, Sako expressed his gratitude for the respect and appreciation he received in the Kurdistan Region, for the symbols and personalities of various religions, and for the region’s culture of coexistence, which has become a reason for preserving the components, their history, and culture.
Cardinal Sako also praised leader Barzani for his wisdom and leadership in the development of coexistence and peace among the various components in the Kurdistan Region, referring to the Iraqi president's recent decision to revoke the Presidential Decree on the Chaldean Church as "an incorrect and dangerous decision that harmed the Christian component and violated the principles of coexistence and reconciliation."
Barzani, for his part, welcomed the visiting delegation, saying that "Kurdistan is the land of coexistence, reconciliation, and peace between all national and religious components," adding, "During the war against ISIS, I assured a delegation of Christian clerics that Kurdistan is their home and they should not think about leaving it. Either we live together with glory on this land or we die together."
According to the statement, Barzani voiced concern about the Iraqi president's decision to revoke the Presidential Decree on the Chaldean Church, and hoped that the decision would be reviewed and remedied.
Louis Sako arrived in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region, on Friday evening, and was received at Erbil International Airport by leader in the Kurdistan Democratic Party (K.D.P.), Fadhel Mirani, the Minister of Endowments and Religious Affairs in the regional government, Peshtiwan Sadiq, and the Minister of Transportation in the regional government, Anu Jawhar.
For months, the dispute between Sako and Babylon leader Rayan al-Kildani, who has been under U.S. sanctions since 2019 and is an ally of pro-Iranian armed factions that have become part of the official forces of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces-P.M.F.), has intensified.
In July, events took a new turn with President Rashid withdrawing Decree No. 147 of 2013 granting the Cardinal's functions as head of the Chaldean Church legal status.