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WikiLeaks: 2007-07-03: 07VATICAN104: Iraq: Chaldean Patriarch Supports Christian Areas Revitalization Concept

by WikiLeaks. 07VATICAN104: July 03, 2007.

Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 05:30 PM UT


Viewing cable 07VATICAN104, IRAQ: CHALDEAN PATRIARCH SUPPORTS CHRISTIAN AREAS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07VATICAN104 2007-07-03 13:21 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vatican
VZCZCXRO2338
PP RUEHBC RUEHDBU RUEHDE RUEHFL RUEHIHL RUEHKUK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHSR
DE RUEHROV #0104/01 1841321
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 031321Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0759
INFO RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0031
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHROV/AMEMBASSY VATICAN 0789
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 VATICAN 000104 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/WE LARREA; NEA/I, DRL/IRF 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:  7/3/2017 
TAGS: PREL MOPS PGOV KIRF PHUM IZ VT
SUBJECT: IRAQ: CHALDEAN PATRIARCH SUPPORTS CHRISTIAN AREAS 
REVITALIZATION CONCEPT 
 
REF: 06 VATICAN 000226 
 
VATICAN 00000104  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: Christopher J. Sandrolini, Deputy Chief of 
Mission, Embassy Vatican. 
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 
------- 
 
Summary 
 
------- 
 
 
 
1.  (C) Summary:  Monsignor Philip Najim, Representative of the 
Chaldean Catholic Church to the Holy See and the Chaldeans' 
European representative, told us June 25 that the Patriarch 
supports the idea of a revitalization plan for tradition 
Christian areas in northern Iraq.  The Chaldeans, who remain 
opposed to the establishment of a Christian "Ghetto", envision a 
robust building and jobs program to attract Christians fleeing 
other areas in Iraq in an effort to save Iraq's Christian 
community.  Efforts are underway in the US and Australia to 
recruit businesses to these Christian areas and the Chaldeans 
are seeking USG and NGO assistance to support their efforts. 
Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See Albert Yelda supports the 
concept and has been in contact with key officials to promote 
the idea.  End Summary. 
 
 
 
------------------------------------ 
 
Yes to Christian Area Revitalization 
 
------------------------------------ 
 
 
 
2.  (C) Monsignor Philip Najim, the Chaldean Catholic 
Representative to the Holy See, told us June 25 that Patriarch 
Emmanuel Delly III supports the idea of revitalizing traditional 
Christian areas in Northern Iraq in an effort to stem the tide 
of Christian refugees fleeing Iraq.  Drawing a clear distinction 
from the concept of a Christian "Ghetto" on the Niveveh Plains, 
Najim explained the idea involved revitalizing traditional 
Christian areas in Northern Iraq with the goal of providing 
Christian families with a safe place to live and work. 
 
 
 
-------------------- 
 
No to Nineveh Ghetto 
 
-------------------- 
 
 
 
3.  (C) Najim stressed that their support for this so called 
revitalization effort was not an about-face to their prior 
stated opposition to a Christian enclave on the Nineveh Plain. 
The concept of a Christian Ghetto is an idea which "we cannot 
support", said Najim.  The Chaldean Church is for a united Iraq, 
where the rights of all Iraqis are protected including their 
constitutional right to live wherever they wish, said Najim.  We 
are against the idea of internal partitions based on religion 
and categorically reject the idea of a Christian Ghetto because 
the terrorist would use the existence of a Christian Ghetto as 
another reason to oust Christians from their homes in other 
areas in Iraq.  Additionally, without USG protection explained 
Najim, a Christian enclave would make a very inviting target for 
the terrorist. Najim also mentioned that the KRG would never 
support the establishment of a Christian enclave in or near 
Kurdistan because of certain problems, it would create for them. 
 
 
 
------------------------------------ 
 
If You Revitalize It, They Will Come 
 
------------------------------------ 
 
 
 
 
VATICAN 00000104  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
4.  (C) The basic concept underlying the revitalization idea is 
to reestablish traditional Christian communities in Northern 
Iraq through an energetic building and jobs program.  Najim 
explained that there had existed a number of vibrant Christian 
communities throughout northern Iraq before Saddam had cleared 
these areas of Christians during his Arabization program. 
Rather than creating an exclusive enclave for Christians, Najim 
indicated Christians would have an option of returning to their 
ancestral homes as opposed to fleeing Iraq for Syria, Jordan or 
other countries. 
 
 
 
5.  (C) The Chaldean Church had established two committees, said 
Najim, one in the U.S. and one in Australia, to help recruit and 
establish businesses in the targeted areas in northern Iraq.  We 
are also very interested in receiving support to build 
factories, schools and hospitals said Najim who indicated that 
they had received interest and offers of support from a number 
of NGOs including Rome-based Community of Sant'Egidio.  Najim 
added that they expected to continue to receive support from the 
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) because the Kurds "want to 
show the world they are helping Christians." 
 
 
 
---------------------------- 
 
"We Want America to Succeed" 
 
---------------------------- 
 
 
 
6.  (C) Najim then made a pitch for support from the USG in 
helping with this revitalization effort.  "A vibrant and 
functioning Christian community in Iraq is in all of our best 
interests", said Najim (reftel A) and we would encourage the 
U.S. to provide its support to this effort.  The Christian 
community in Iraq "wants America to succeed," said Najim, "and 
you have the political and financial wherewithal to help us 
succeed in this effort". 
 
 
 
7.  (C) The Patriarch will visit with Ambassador Crocker at 
Embassy Baghdad sometime later the week of June 24, said Najim. 
The Patriarch looks forward to explaining the revitalization 
idea to Ambassador Crocker.  "We hope this will be the beginning 
of a successful effort to help the Christian people of Iraq", 
said Najim. 
 
 
 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 
 
Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See Supports Revitalization 
 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 
 
 
 
8.  (C) Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See Albert Yelda told us 
June 27 that the revitalization idea has his support and he has 
already discussed the matter with the Chaldeans and a number of 
officials inside Iraq including KRG President Barzani.  Yelda 
said he imagined the KRG would support a Christian-led 
administrative region in the north of Iraq, but they are 
absolutely against the establishment of a Christian enclave. 
The key is to attract factories or other business enterprises to 
the area, or there will be nothing to hold the Christians to 
Iraq. 
 
 
 
------- 
 
Comment 
 
------- 
 
 
VATICAN 00000104  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
 
 
9.  (C) The Chaldeans are clearly looking for a silver bullet to 
save their Church in Iraq and are hoping the so-called 
revitalization effort will save the day.  While the concept is 
vague, this idea might just be worth lending direct or indirect 
support, especially if the KRG will support the concept.  With 
Pope Benedict and the Catholic worldwide media paying more and 
more attention to the plight of Christians in Iraq, a little 
support might reap a bigger payoff. 
ROONEY

 



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