Iraq's Christian Leaders Warn of Dire Consequences
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Baghdad (AINA) -- The Council of the Heads of Christian Sects brought a proposal on Tuesday to the head of the Iraqiya List- Ayad Allawi- for dialogue and reconciliation, warning at the same time of the dire consequences of the continuation of disputes between political blocs with the upheaval in the regional situation. In this, Allawi expressed his cooperation and his agreement with the attitudes of the council.

Allawi said in a published statement following his reception of a delegation from the council headed by Patriarch Mar Louis Rafael- in a copy obtained by 'Sumaria News' from him- that "the two sides discussed the situation of Christians, the turbulent political crisis in the country and the proposal for reconciliation that the Council of Christian Sects strives for."

Allawi also spoke of "the role of Christians and their indigenous history: their being a fundamental part of society," expressing his "great dismay because of the exodus of the Christian component [of society] from Iraq."

He pointed to the "deterioration in the security situation, the collapse of institutions, the worsening of corruption and the poverty that have been greatly contributing to the exodus of our Christian brothers," adding that, "If there had been serious government measures, protection and stability would have been guaranteed for them when we witnessed this great exodus."

For his part, the Patriarch, according to the statement, spoke of "the disputes between the Iraqi political blocs, the upheaval in the regional situation, especially in Syria, which will have a great impact on the stability of the entire region." He emphasized that "it is necessary for all to find a solution to these problems. Otherwise, the consequences will be dire."

The statement pointed to the fact that "the meeting of the Council of the Heads of Christian Sects with the head of Iraqiya guarantees the advancement of a proposal for dialogue and reconciliation in order to rebuild Iraq," indicating that it [the proposal], "encompasses the requirement for the breaking of the growing deadlock between political and government factions with an urgent appeal for political factions to commit to prevent opening up the arena to foreign intervention, [to commit to] a solution to pending problems and to ensure to hasten the process of considering the dossiers of detainees."

The statement added that "the proposal for dialogue includes a guarantee for a roundtable featuring the most prominent religious and political figures from all sects and components [of society] to get out on paper an agreement to secure constructive dialogue and serious work to resolve pending issues."

Allawi thanked "the Council of Heads of Christian Sects headed by Patiarch Mar Louis for this proposal," expressing his "cooperation and agreement with the attitudes of the council since they are on a national level."

The head of the Chaldean Church in Iraq and the World- Cardinal Mar Louis Sako- had released his proposal on the 28th of March for dialogue and reconciliation between Iraq's political factions.

The Council of the Heads of Christian Sects brought forth the proposal during a meeting with the head of the Council of Representatives Osama al-Nujaifi on the 28th March and emphasized the need to "prevent opening up the arena to foreign intervention and hasten the process of considering the dossiers of innocent detainees." During this meeting, Nujaifi affirmed his "positive agreement" after studying the contents of the proposal.

In the same way did the deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq on the 5th of April this month express approval of the proposal, which the head of the Chaldean Church in Iraq and the World- Cardinal Mar Louis Sako- brought forth. During this time, the cardinal expressed his hope that the proposal would reverberate well among the politicians.

Translated from Arabic for AINA by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi.

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