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WikiLeaks: 2006-10-24: 06VATICAN226: Vatican: NGO Considers Christian Resettlement in Northern Iraq

by WikiLeaks. 06VATICAN226: October 24, 2006.

Posted: Thursday, October 04, 2012 at 06:43 PM UT


Viewing cable 06VATICAN226, VATICAN: NGO CONSIDERS CHRISTIAN RESETTLEMENT IN NORTHERN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06VATICAN226 2006-10-24 13:21 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vatican
VZCZCXRO8366
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHROV #0226 2971321
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O P 241321Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0538
INFO RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0023
/ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE
RUEHROV/AMEMBASSY VATICAN 0566
C O N F I D E N T I A L VATICAN 000226 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/WE LARREA; NEA/I, DRL/IRF 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:  10/24/2016 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM IZ VT
SUBJECT: VATICAN: NGO CONSIDERS CHRISTIAN RESETTLEMENT IN NORTHERN IRAQ 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: Christopher J. Sandrolini, Deputy Chief of 
Mission, AMEMB VATICAN, STATE. 
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
1.  (C) Summary:  Chaldean and Syrian Church Leaders in Mosul, 
Iraq have proposed resettling displaced Iraqi Christians in an 
area of Northern Iraq.  Vatican-affiliated NGO the Community of 
Sant'Egidio plans to visit Northern Iraq in November to meet 
with Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) leaders to discuss the 
initiative which the KRG leadership has welcomed in principle. 
Sant'Egidio representative Claudio Betti will be in the 
Department for meetings the week of October 23.  End Summary. 
 
--------------------------------------------- - 
Northern Iraq Area for Christian Resettlement? 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
2.  (C) Vatican Officials have long expressed concern over the 
several thousand Iraqi Christians who left the country during 
the former regime of Saddam Hussein.  They are equally concerned 
about those who continue to leave Central and Southern Iraq 
because of communal violence.  It is estimated that between 
150,000 and 200,000 Iraqi Christians have sought refuge in 
Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece.  The Chaldean and 
Syrian Catholic bishops of Mosul have asked Vatican-affiliated 
NGO the Community of Sant'Egidio to assist and facilitate the 
return of Iraqi Christians to their homeland in Iraq.  The area 
envisaged for return is Northern Iraq. 
 
3.  (C) Sant'Egidio tells us that the Kurdish Regional 
Government (KRG), through its Finance Minister, welcomed the 
initiative for the return of the refugees.  The "Return Program" 
will facilitate the refugee's transition from their current 
country of residence to northern Iraq and help with their 
reintegration into Iraqi society.  The objective is to assist 
the refugees with legal issues, financial support, housing, 
education and job-training programs, and medical services to 
ensure their reintegration is as successful as possible, making 
them contributing members of society. 
 
--------------------------------------------- 
Northern Iraq Visit by Sant'Egidio Delegation 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
4.  (C) A Sant'Egidio delegation will visit Northern Iraq in 
November to meet the provincial governors concerned and to 
evaluate the feasibility of the program.  The visit is expected 
to include meetings with KRG President Barzani, Prime Minister 
Barzani, Finance Minister Mamendu, and with Minister for 
Reconstruction and Housing Sayfour. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
5.  (C) Post will leave an evaluation of the Sant'Egidio 
resettlement initiative to Embassy Baghdad and to NEA and PRM 
experts, but notes its very positive experience with prior 
Community of Sant'Egidio projects.  Chaldean Church 
Representative to the Holy See Monsignor Najim told us he had 
personal reservations about the utility of the concept, but that 
he would reserve judgment until the plans were more fully 
developed.  The Community has proved extremely effective and 
operationally savvy in inter-religious dialogue, HIV/AIDS 
treatment and other notable areas.  Sant'Egidio International 
Relations Chief Claudio Betti will be visiting the Department 
the week of October 23 to discuss various Sant'Egidio 
initiatives.  POC is Vatican Desk Officer John Larrea, 
202-647-4361 or LarreaJF@state.gov. 
 
ROONEY

 



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