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Pope states on the Last Day of His Trip to Iraq: “Peace is Stronger than War”

On Sunday, Pope Francis I travelled to the fourth stop of his trip to Erbil, and from there to Mosul and Ninawa, where he met with officials from the Iraqi Kurdish region, as well as Iraqi Christians. In these meetings, the Pope emphasized: “The option of peace is stronger than war.”
“I am honoured to welcome Pope Francis in Erbil”, tweeted Nechirvan Barzani, the head of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, after his meeting with Pope Francis I, according to ISNA. “At the same time as the Pope’s visit to the Kurdistan Region, we emphasize our continued commitment to peace, religious freedom and brotherhood. We are reminded of the heroic ‘Peshmerga’ and all those who made absolute sacrifices to defend the peace and freedom of all Iraqis”, he added.
In addition, Masoud Barzani, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), said: “The Pope’s visit to Erbil is a historic trip and a message of peaceful coexistence”.
The Pope also praised the people and the region of Kurdistan for hosting and supporting Christians during ISIS’s invasion of Iraq in 2014, saying that Kurdistan had become a home for Christians.
After meeting with Barzani in Erbil, Pope Francis left for Mosul where he was scheduled to hold a religious service for victims of ISIS terrorism. In this regard, the Pope said during the visit to the Hosh Al-Biea: “The signs and effects of the war in the city of Mosul are quite clear and it is unfortunate that the land of civilization has been exposed to this terrorist attack. The catastrophic decline in the number of Christians in the city of Mosul is disturbing. I call on Christian families to return to Mosul and resume their vital role.”

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