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Iraq: helping to build the new Iraq based on freedom and democracy. Mario Mauro MEP


07 Sep 2011


Global Europe

"The European Parliament should back an open and democratic constitution in Iraq"

"I will propose to organise a public hearing here at the European Parliament on the new Iraqi constitution", said Mario Mauro MEP, the European Parliament's Rapporteur on the upcoming first EU-Iraq cooperation agreement, who met in Brussels with Monsignor Emil Shimoun Nona, Archbishop of Mosul, and Monsignor Bashir Matti Warda, Archbishop of Erbil in Iraq.

During the exchange of views, the two Archbishops gave an update on the latest developments in Iraq and discussed key issues for the country such as the role of the Christian minorities in the future of the Iraqi education system, the new Constitution, freedom of religion and the respect of human rights in the country.

This mission to the European Parliament was organised in the framework of the strong ties that the EPP Group and Mario Mauro MEP have been establishing over the years with the Iraqi Christian communities.

"When there is freedom of religion in a country, this means that there are also other freedoms. Other freedoms derive from freedom of religion. This is why freedom of religion is crucial. Monsignors Nona and Warda are bringing an important message in the context of regime change in their country, inter-religious dialogue, and the potential for freedom and democratisation to which Iraq must aspire. Our dialogue is vital if we want the EU to back the democratic transition in Iraq in an effective way, giving the Iraqi society and all Iraqi minorities the possibility to live in a peaceful and democratic country", said Mario Mauro MEP.

"As the European Parliament's Rapporteur on the upcoming first EU-Iraq cooperation agreement, I am interested in listening to all Iraqi voices that are willing to build a new country based on democracy, respect of human rights, freedom of religion and minority rights. This is why I insist on the inclusion of these principles in this agreement. This agreement cannot be reduced solely to economic issues, but should be an instrument for the EU to contribute to bringing peace back to the country", Mr Mauro continued.

The European Parliament adopted a Resolution last November, initiated by the EPP Group, condemning attacks on Christians in Iraq. The EPP Group also initiated a Written Declaration which calls for religious freedom to be incorporated into the external policies of the EU by adding a binding clause on the respect of freedom of religion to Agreements with Third Countries.

Resolution on attacks against Christian communities in Iraq approved by the EP on 25 November 2010

Written Declaration on freedom of religion

(Translation from the original Italian)

For further information:

Mario MAURO MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845387

Francesco Frapiccini, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-473-941652

Notes to Editors:

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 264 Members.