(AINA) -- On January 21 Iraq's Council of Ministers, under the leadership of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, approved a plan to establish three new provinces in Iraq to accommodate the legal rights of three distinct groups that are integral members of Iraq's ethno-religious mosaic (AINA 2014-01-22). We congratulate the government of Iraq for this historic and groundbreaking decision that recognizes the rights of three distinct groups of its citizens, particularly the indigenous Assyrians (also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs), who are the inhabitants of Iraq from the time immemorial.
This decision marks a pivotal point in the life of a new Iraq and its drive toward democracy, security and cultural preservation for all its inhabitants. It is also a testament to the years of tireless effort both within Iraq and from the Diaspora to ensure that every part of Iraq's societal fabric benefits from the new direction in this old and historical land.
Assyrians have been pursuing their legal rights as the rightful owners of their ancestral lands for a very long time. The Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) has been calling for the establishment of a geographically viable, demarcated region as an Assyrian province in the historical Assyrian lands in Northern Iraq as part of the modern day Federal Republic of Iraq.
We wholeheartedly thank every organization and individual who has contributed to this historical achievement. Our most heartfelt appreciation goes to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who had publicly promised the AUA representatives in Australia in March 2009 that the government of Iraq would redress the tragedies suffered by Iraqi ethnic populations. We extend our gratitude to the Assyrian members of the Iraqi Parliament and minister members of the Cabinets for their efforts and congratulate them for this achievement. We also appreciate the efforts and support of all friendly governments and international organizations that helped pave the way for this decision. We most humbly thank and congratulate all thirteen political organizations that accepted AUA's invitation and convened in the City of Erbil in the fall of 2010 and with one voice demanded the establishment of a province for our people in Iraq's Nineveh Plain.
We urge all governments, organizations and individuals to continue to support this movement and to bring to fruition the full establishment of a province for our people in the Nineveh Plain.