President Abdullatif Rashid and First Lady Meet Pope Francis

Bader Al-Sammarraie

In a historic meeting at the Vatican, the President of the Republic of Iraq, Abdullatif Jamal Rashid, and Iraq’s First Lady, Shanaz Ibrahim Ahmed, engaged in a momentous discussion with His Holiness, Pope Francis. The meeting, which took place in the esteemed halls of the Vatican, showcased the commitment of leaders to fostering interfaith harmony, peaceful coexistence, and unity.

President Abdullatif Rashid and First Lady Meet Pope Francis

In his opening remarks, President Rashid expressed profound gratitude to Pope Francis for his momentous visit to Iraq, highlighting the pride Iraqis feel in hosting such a significant event. He underlined the visit’s symbolic representation of peaceful coexistence and love among religions, both within and beyond the nation’s borders.


President Rashid emphasized the urgent need for the region to strengthen the values of brotherhood and humanity. He called for concerted efforts to fortify the principles of dialogue, cooperation, and collective action among diverse communities. The President lauded the positive impact of the Holy See’s invitations, prayers, and public messages in fostering calm and dialogue among the people, promoting understanding and unity.


President Abdullatif Rashid and First Lady Meet Pope Francis

Acknowledging Iraq’s progress in political and security stability, President Rashid outlined the country’s shifting priorities toward achieving comprehensive development. These include providing essential services, enhancing citizens’ standard of living, repairing infrastructure, and fostering economic growth.


President Rashid reiterated Iraq’s commitment to promoting democracy and pluralism, emphasizing the respect for human rights and freedoms. He highlighted the positive relationship between the Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, expressing mutual dedication to resolving outstanding issues according to the Iraqi Constitution and the law.

President Abdullatif Rashid and First Lady Meet Pope Francis

Addressing the importance of Christian communities in Iraqi society, President Rashid underscored their crucial role in nation-building and progress. He affirmed the government’s commitment to resettling Christians, Yazidis, and other indigenous communities in their homes, ensuring a decent life upon return, and preserving the diversity within their communities.


President Rashid declared the Presidency of the Republic’s openness to the Christian community, inviting them to voice their concerns to ensure their livelihood and stability. He emphasized the government’s humanitarian efforts to provide for the necessities of those returning to their homes.

President Abdullatif Rashid and First Lady Meet Pope Francis

Regarding Iraq’s international relations, President Rashid highlighted the nation’s good relations with its neighbors and the world, based on mutual respect and common interests. He expressed Iraq’s condemnation of human rights violations and ongoing aggression against the Palestinian people, urging the international community to intensify efforts to prevent such violations and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

President Abdullatif Rashid and First Lady Meet Pope Francis

Pope Francis welcomed President Rashid, confirming the Holy See’s support for Iraqi efforts to strengthen intercommunity relations and interfaith harmony. The Holy Father acknowledged the pivotal role of the Christian faith in promoting harmony and cooperation, recognizing their sacrifices for a prosperous and developed Iraq and commitment to national identity.

In conclusion, a symbolic souvenir exchange took place between President Rashid and Pope Francis. The event witnessed the presence of several consultants and top officials, including Member of Parliament Ms. Dylan Abdul Ghafoor and Iraq’s ambassador to the Vatican, Rahman Farhan Al-Amiri, highlighting the collaborative efforts toward a future of unity and peace.

ope Francis

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