Amsterdam (AINA) -- The Honorable Desiree Bonis, a member of the Dutch Parliament, met with leaders of the Assyrian community in Amsterdam on January 20. Ms. Bonis attended Mass at the Syriac Orthodox Church and met with Assyrians leaders over a luncheon. Ms. Bonis expressed her gratitude for the chance to meet with the Assyrian community, saying that she is very familiar with dire circumstances of the Assyrians in the Middle East, having met many Assyrian refugees from Iraq in Syria.
Ms. Bonis is a member of the Dutch Labor Party (PvdA) and was a former diplomat in Syria.
The bishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Holland, Mor Polycarpus, lead the Mass. Mor Polycarpus said in his speech that Holland and especially the PvdA should work very hard for peace in the Middle East.
After the Mass Ms. Bonis spoke to more than two hundred parishioners about the situation of the Christians in Syria and the situation of the Assyrians in Iraq. She agreed with the Bishop and promised that she will continue to follow the situation of the Christians in the Middle East. She expressed her concern about the negative aspects of the "Arab Spring."
The meeting was coordinated by Attiya Gamri (PvdA), member of the Provincial parliament of Noord-Holland.
After the church service miss Bonis had lunch with the bishop, members of the Assyrian Dutch society, members of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Holland, members of the PvdA and three members of the Coptic church. They spoke about what the EU and especially Holland can do for the Christians in the Middle East.
Ms. Gamri gave Ms. Bonis the 2011 Human Rights Report by Assyria Council of Europe. Mr. Shlimon Hadad, member of the Assyrian Dutch society, invited her to visit the Nineveh plains in North Iraq.