July 29, 2016

KRG participates in meetings on diversity protection at US Department of State

Washington, DC, USA (us.gov.krd) – The US Department of State today hosted a meeting of representatives from 30 countries, the European Union, UNESCO, UNHCR, Organization for Islamic Cooperation and the United Nations to discuss ways that the international community can help protect the religious and ethnic diversity of regions that have been under control by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sha’m (ISIS).

Delegates from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) participated as part of the Iraqi delegation, alongside representatives of the Yezidi, Assyrian and Turkman communities and the Iraqi Embassy on July 29.

During the opening remarks of the conference, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the assistance of the international community is part of the, ‘back-breaking, painstaking work of stabilization, reconciliation, and governance that will ensure that Daesh, once defeated, stays defeated.’

KRG Representative to the United States Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman and Amir Mawlud, KRG Director of Coexistence at the Ministry of Religious Endowment, represented the KRG at the meeting, which was titled ‘Threats to Religious and Ethnic Minorities under Da’esh’

The meeting was hosted by U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom David Saperstein and Special Advisor for Religious Minorities Knox Thames. Today’s meeting is a follow-up to the Paris conference in September 2015 where a plan of action was agreed upon. A follow-up to this conference will be hosted by the Spanish government in the coming months.

The previous day, Representative Abdul Rahman attended a meeting on the same topic with members of civil society institutions, hosted by the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University.

Click here to watch US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s remarks.
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